MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Legislation that would require health insurers to cover an intensive autism therapy has stalled in the state Senate after passing the House of Representatives unanimously.
The House on April 20 voted 100-0 to mandate coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy, also called ABA therapy.
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Parents, such as Catey Hall of Birmingham, said they fear time will run out in the session.
Curated from ABC 33-40 by Associated Press
The FARM responds:
Unbelievable! I thought Alabama was finally going to get this settled with the new autism therapy bill. According to the Autism Society of Alabama, Alabama is one of 5 states in the United States that do not require that insurance companies provide ABA autism benefits. FIVE !
And guess what? Alabama is one of those listed. For shame! For an insurance company to deny benefits they must:
deny the condition exists; or
deny that the therapy is proven to work;
HELLO ???? ABA therapy has proven to work in scientific studies for decades. I can see the denial of benefits for nutrition, and vitamins. Even for equine therapy (as all of these are new therapies that haven’t been proven yet). But Applied Behavorial Analysis? Sheesh.
I thought that this was taken care of in 2012 with the passage of Act No. 2012-298 but apparently not according to Autism Speaks, that autism therapy bill :
. . . only require insurers to “offer” the coverage and then charge an additional or higher premium if the policyholder accepts.
Some parents may have insurance
Even if this new bill (which does mandate ABA coverage) fails, there is still some good news for Autism parents in Alabama. Those who have insurance through United Healthcare (fully insured small and large group plans), may have benefits. Beginning Jan 1, 2017 they will now have full ABA benefits. So if you have UHC, the Autism Society of Alabama recommends you check your plan.
And if you have an Obama-care plan covering your children? Looks like there is no ABA coverage, nor is there coverage under Alabama Medicaid. This information comes from the Alabama Austism Society.
Let me know if you live in Alabama and HAVE found decent, affordable coverage for your child’s therapy. I would love to know what insurance companies are stepping up to the plate – and which ones aren’t.