Autism and Families’ Financial Burden: The Association With Health Insurance Coverage

Source: Susan L. Parish, Kathleen C. Thomas, Christianna S. Williams, and Morgan K. Crossman, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 120 No. 2, March 2015
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From the abstract:
We examined the relationship between family financial burden and children’s health insurance coverage in families raising children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), using pooled 2000–2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. Measures of family financial burden included any out-of-pocket spending in the previous year, and spending as a percentage of families’ income. Families spent an average of $9.70 per $1,000 of income on their child’s health care costs. Families raising children with private insurance were more than 5 times as likely to have any out-of-pocket spending compared to publicly insured children. The most common out-of-pocket expenditure types were medications, outpatient services, and dental care. This study provides evidence of the relative inadequacy of private insurance in meeting the needs of children with ASD.