Last October California formally ended autism insurance discrimination by passing SB 946 requiring insurance companies and health care service plans to provide coverage of medically necessary treatments for autism as a medical benefit.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones applauded passage of the bill within days of passage. ”Behavioral therapy is widely considered to be an essential and effective method for treating children with autism, and it’s a long overdue development for insurers to offer coverage for this treatment,” said Commissioner Jones. “SB 946 represents a major step forward in ensuring that children withutism get the treatment they need in order to live the high-quality lives they deserve.”
Last week Blue Shield of California reached a settlement agreement with the California Department of Insurance to provide coverage of medically necessary behavior therapy including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) when provided by all appropriately credentialed, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, as well as those providers with ABA services training and experience in serving children with autism.
This is a HUGE step towards ensuring an adequate network of ABA providers for California’s children involved with ASD’s.
In Washington State , Network Adequacy Laws and Mental Health Parity in theory offers Washingtonians with ASD’s similar levels of protection as those children in California and the other 29 states that now make it illegal for carriers to discriminate against those with autism. Yet, families like ours continue to collect stacks of denied claims for medically necessary ABA and other structured behavior therapies month after month, year after year. If your loved one with ASD does not have coverage of medically necessary treatments through private insurance or Medicaid, please visit WAA Family Forum for potential resources. Please share this link with your neurodevelopmental and behavior therapy providers and ask them to share with clients who have been denied coverage of medically necessary treatments.
Thank you for standing with us for change!
Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy