Due to pressure from ABA practitioners and families across the country, health insurance companies have gradually increased coverage for ABA therapy. Here is an explanation of the controversy surrounding health insurance coverage for ABA.
- Background Information
When health insurance companies are deciding whether to cover a certain treatment, they first have to ensure that the treatment meets certain criteria. In particular, the treatment has to be deemed a health service. The controversy surrounding ABA therapy and health insurance coverage revolves around the question of whether ABA is a health therapy or an educational service. Unfortunately, many health insurance companies have historically categorized ABA therapy as an educational service, and have therefore refused to provide coverage. There is an appeal process available for families whose children undergo ABA therapy but the process can often be long and time-consuming.
- Recent Positive Developments
Thanks to increased awareness about the purpose and success of ABA therapy, more health insurance companies have begun to provide coverage. Recently Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Co. agreed to provide coverage for applied behavior analysis therapy. UnitedHealth has also decided to provide coverage for ABA therapy. Increased evidence regarding the positive effects of ABA therapy has made health insurance companies more sensitive to the needs of families. ABA therapy is an effective treatment option for children with autism with a variety of health benefits. As awareness about the benefits of ABA therapy continues to increase, health insurance companies will follow the example of Blue Shield and UnitedHealth and provide coverage for the treatment.
For more information about health insurance coverage for ABA therapy, call STAR California at (805) 624-6982. We provide high quality psychological and ABA services to children and families in the community.