Children with autism whose parents have health insurance through the state's Uniform Medical Plan may be covered for an intensive type of therapy, under a settlement announced Monday.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court in 2010 against the state's Health Care Authority (HCA) on behalf of several children with autism and autism-spectrum disorders.
There are more than 860 members of the class, according to the lawsuit.
The settlement spells out details of the autism benefit for future coverage through the Uniform Medical Plan for current employees of the state and some school districts and local governments.
It includes providing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy in a natural setting, such as a child's home or community, when recommended by an autism expert to address behaviors affecting development, communication or adjustment.
"This is a watershed moment for Washington families with autism," said Arzu Forough, CEO of Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy and a parent of two of the named plaintiffs. "With HCA's leadership, we are entering a new era of full coverage for persons with autism."More detail is available from Autism Votes.