How much will an autism mandate cost?

The PA Health Care Containment Council allegedly has a study (it hasn’t been released, but some media are reporting on it) claiming that a new mandate that insurance companies provide coverage for autism services (even for people who don’t want the coverage) would only cost $1 per month in higher rates.

Rick Dreyfuss, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation, comments:

“If this provision is that inexpensive, then making it an optional rider should make it that much more affordable to those interested in obtaining such coverage.”

In other words, there is no need for mandate.

On the other hand, John Graham of the Pacific Research Insitute writes that the autism mandate would actually represent an estimated 7.5% increase in insurance rates (or about $30 per month for every person with coverage). In addition to higher costs for everyone, that also mean more uninsured.