By Jonathan Slack, Market Research & Development Specialist, AHSS
Last week we talked about how the prevalence of autism has increased significantly over the years to the point where now 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. This increased prevalence rate has increased autism awareness around the country, and in turn has caused services for autism to become more widely available. Thirty-eight states now have autism insurance mandates. Fifteen years ago, around the same time my autistic sister Jennifer was diagnosed, families had to pay out of pocket or be lucky enough to have an insurance plan that voluntarily covered autism services.Indiana was the first state to pass an autism insurance mandate in 2001. Since that time other states have slowly followed suit. Now families in 38 states face a much better insurance landscape for their loved ones on the spectrum. We are truly lucky to be living in these times. I hope that one day there is an autism insurance mandate in every state, so that no one is faced with the same bleak insurance availability that my family and so many other were faced with 15 years ago.