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California Challenges Insurers on Autism Treatment

California enacted a rule that makes it more difficult for health insurers to deny or delay coverage of key interventions for children with autism. The state is looking to make sure these expensive therapies are accessible to families.

The new rule enforces that insurers cover behavioral interventions for children with autism at the same level that they cover visits to a medical doctor.

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US Healthcare and Pharmacy Spending Increased in 2013

Spending on medicine rose 3.2% in 2013, reaching $329.2 billion, rebounding from a 1% decrease in spending that was seen in 2012, according to findings from a IMS Health Holdings Inc., report.

Factors that led to increased spending include the cost of new medicines, price increases on some branded drugs, a $10 billion reduced impact of patent expirations compared with 2012, and the first rise in the use of healthcare services in 3 years.

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More than 7 Million People Sign Up for Coverage on Health Insurance Exchanges

Washington, DC—Despite technical glitches that marred the rollout of the health insurance marketplaces last fall, President Barack Obama announced on April 1 that 7.1 million people signed up for insurance coverage in 2014 through the federal and state-based exchanges. Thanks to millions of enrollees in the last few weeks amidst an influx of marketing and advertising, the numbers exceeded the estimated 7 million people that the Congressional Budget Office had projected would sign up.

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