FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 22, 2010
Contact:Pamela Finch (518) 514-8833 firstname.lastname@example.org
Autism Mandate is ill-timed, at best
ALBANY - Today the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care expressed disappointment over the Senate Insurance Committee’s passage of S.7000-A – legislation that would expand coverage of Autism Spectrum Disorder in private health insurance.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Neil Breslin (D-46) broadly legislates the type of treatment that private coverage will provide for individuals diagnosed with ASD, going beyond basic medical care to include various types of educational services. The New York State Department of Insurance has estimated a broad autism mandate will increase private health insurance premiums by roughly 2%, in addition to the 17% increase most companies experienced in 2010.
“We are disappointed with the Senate Insurance Committee’s decision today to move forward with A.7000-A, despite the many unanswered questions that exist surrounding the overall financial impact on this seemingly unlimited mandate,” said Scott Miller, chair of the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care. “The decision is, at best, premature, since this mandate has yet to be vetted by the Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission since that entity has yet to be fully established, despite being created more than three years ago.”
At the same time the Senate is looking to expand autism coverage, it is also supporting the Executive Budget Proposal to shift costs of Early Intervention Services to private health insurance. These costs are currently shared by state and local government.
“Health insurance mandates have a direct impact on consumer cost,” Miller continued. “Advocates state that the number of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder continues to grow at a alarming rate, which makes the true financial ramifications of this bill widely unknown. We urge the Assembly to refrain from any action on this legislation until the true cost and medical impact are fully understood.”
The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a coalition of more than 3,400 employers and individuals from across New York, representing more than 200,000 working New Yorkers, committed to preserving quality affordable health care.