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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Letter on Federal Employee Health Benefits

Today, lawmakers from the DC Metro area sent a letter to Director of the Office of Personnel Management John Berry asking the agency to ensure Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) insurance providers cover applied behavior analysis (ABA), a therapy frequently used for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Signing onto the bipartisan letter are Congressmen Jim Moran (D-VA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Elijah Cummings(D-MD), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
“We applaud the decision to reclassify ABA as a medical therapy covered under FEHBP. At the same time, we are disappointed that families in many areas around the country, including our own, are not benefiting from this decision,” the lawmakers wrote. “All federal workers, not just a fortunate few, should have plans that cover ABA.”
Beginning in 2012, FEHBP allows, but does not require, health plans to cover ABA. According to the organization Autism Speaks, only 67 state-specific plans offered ABA coverage for 2013 and the Washington Post has highlighted that no FEHBP plans in the National Capital Region cover ABA.