Representatives gather information on Autism insurance Mandate
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Representatives gather information on Autism insurance Mandate

Date: September 15, 2009
By: Rebecca Stephen
State Capitol Bureau

Intro:   State Representatives were left wanting more. Rebecca Stephen has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:48
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:   A House Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorders wanted to know how health insurance coverage for autism would affect the cost of statewide insurance.

American Health Insurance Plan Lobbyist Shannon Cooper came unprepared with no facts or statistics.

But he did say small business employess would suffer if autism is covered on insurance plans.  

Actuality:  COOPER.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "As insurance rates go up more and more people can no longer afford that insurance. So from our industry standpoint that's not good. It's not good public policy when we do things to further increase insurance rates and then create a larger uninsured population for the state."
 

Spokesperson from Autism Speaks Lorri Unumb (YOU-NUMB) says that 14 other states have passed this type of legislation and the increase was minuscule.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Rebecca Stephen.

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Intro: Missouri legislators felt for sufferers of autism. Rebecca Stephen has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: House Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorders Chairman voiced sympathy Tuesday toward families that deal with autism. 

Lorri Unumb (YOU-NUMB) is the parent of an autistic child.

She says it is hard for many families to afford the costs of treatment for autistic children.

Actuality:  UNUMB.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "These families are paying premiums each month to cover their kids. These are families who are doing the right thing by procuring insurance for their families to insure against exactly this kind of unforeseen and unprovoked medical disaster."

American Health Insurance Plan Lobbyist Shannon Cooper says the coverage of autism would make less people able to afford insurance due to increased rates.  

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Rebecca Stephen.  

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Intro:  State Representatives ask big questions about the affects of mandating autism insurance coverage. Rebecca Stephen has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:48
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: During a public testimony the House Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorders was curious about what would happen to insurance rates if the autism health insurance mandate is passed.

Spokesperson from Autism Speaks Lorri Unumb (YOU-NUMB) worked on similar legislation that passed in 2007 in South Carolina.

Actuality:  UNUMB2.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "And I can tell you that despite the doomsday prediction that we heard in South Carolina, and we hear in state after state none of our insurers have fled the state, small businesses are not throwing in the towel because the impact on premiums has been minuscule."

American Health Insurance Plan Lobbyist Shannon Cooper disagrees and says that insurance rates of small businesses would increase leaving more Missourians without coverage.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Rebecca Stephen.

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