, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 546-552

Medical Expenditures for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Privately Insured Population

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Abstract

This study provides estimates of medical expenditures for a subset of children and adolescents who receive employer-based health insurance and have a medical diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Data analyzed were from the 2003 MarketScan® research databases. Individuals with an ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without an ASD by $4,110–$6,200 per year. On average, medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD were 4.1–6.2 times greater than for those without an ASD. Differences in median expenditures ranged from $2,240 to $3,360 per year with median expenditures 8.4–9.5 times greater. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that children and adolescents with medical diagnoses of an ASD incur elevated medical utilization and costs.