ABA coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program will be offered for the first time in 2013 by 38 participating health plans operating in 23 states. The action is significant as the FEHB is the nation's largest single health insurance program, covering eight million federal employees, dependents and retirees. Open season for 2013 medical coverage runs November 12 through December 10.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which manages the insurance program, determined earlier this year that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the most widely used behavioral intervention for treating autism, is a “medical” therapy that qualifies for health insurance coverage. The decision was rendered in the form of guidance to insurers that participate in the FEHB Program for policies that will be renewed or issued starting in 2013.