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    Next week, a committee will vote on legislation bills 4183 and 4476. HB 4183 and HB 4476 are a pair of bills that require health insurance companies to cover treatments for autism. While some believe health insurance companies are discriminating against autism, others believe covering treatments for autism will only add to healthcare costs. If insurance companies cover the costs of diabetes should it not cover the costs for autism? However, according to Mirsnews, if insurance companies cover the costs of autism it will also cause small businesses to stop providing insurance coverage. The bills would provide earlier intervention for individuals with autism, but it would also single out children.

    According to the Michigan House Democrats, 150 children are affected by autism a year. In 2008, Michigan had around 13,839 children with varying forms of autism. Individuals stress early intervention will help 47% of individuals to recover typical functions and will help another 40% make improvements. If left untreated, autism can cost more than $3.4 million dollars a year for one individuals care. The Center for Affordable Health Insurance estimates that having insurance companies cover autism would only raise the premiums by less than 1%.

    The Michigan Association of Community Mental Health however, believes insurance companies would be singling out a disorder that affects the brain. They believe that these bills would increase premiums, which would make it almost impossible to get full party bills. They also believe these bills would force definitions of "medical necessity".

    Sources:

    http://055.housedems.com/news/article/angerer-families-children-with-autism-deserve-treatment/advocates-call-on-committee-to-support-bill-requiring-coverage-of-autism-treatments/
    Testimony before the house Health Policy Committee June 9, 2009 from the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health

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    About Us

    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Leah Brynaert

    Leah Brynaert is Health Care Fellow & Correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student in Lyman Briggs College at MSU.