Insurance companies cover Mo. autism treatments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s insurance department says nearly 4,000 residents received autism treatments that were covered by their health insurance plans last year.

The department said Wednesday that insurance companies covered about $4.3 million in autism-related treatments in 2011. A state law that took effect in January 2011 requires health insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments, such as behavioral analyses.

Insurance director John Huff says the new law did not significantly increase health insurance premiums or health care costs in Missouri.

The department says the average cost for autism treatments is about $143 per month.

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