July 2, 2012

Despite Law, Thousands With Autism May Still Be Without Important Behavioral Therapy

Families hoping to obtain behavioral intervention for loved ones with autism need to check with their insurance as well as the state agencies, called regional centers, that provide assistance to people with developmental disabilities.

By Sharon Bernstein

California’s historic move to require insurance companies to cover behavioral interventions for autism could still leave thousands of Californians with limited access to the expensive therapy.

Monday, July 2: NBC4 Hosts Experts to Answer Your Questions About Behaviorally Based Treatment for Autism

More: Mandated Coverage for Behavioral Interventions for Autism Begins Sunday

Starting this month, most plans will have to cover the intervention, called applied behavioral analysis and widely believed to be one of the most effective treatments for the autism and other developmental disorders.

The therapy involves working intensely with a child or adult to break down even the most simple of social and vocational tasks into tiny steps that can be learned by most people.

But even though the goal was to make the intervention available to most Californians through their insurance, many plans will not offer it. That’s because most of the largest employers are exempt from state requirements under a 1970s-era law that was actually... READ MORE >>

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