The Covered California health benefit exchange board today is expected to reverse a policy that required all family members to join the exchange together, and that move is being hailed by autism advocates. They say a vital type of autism treatment now will be affordable for more California families.
Many families in California cannot afford to pay for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, except through health insurance, according to Karen Fessel, executive director of the Autism Health Insurance Project, a not-for-profit autism advocacy group.
"Basically ABA therapy's unaffordable when it's not covered," Fessel said.
Since it's included as one of the essential health benefits for all Covered California policies, that makes it especially appealing for families with autistic children.
But until now, Covered California officials were insisting that everyone in a subsidy-eligible family had to sign up for same policy.
Today, when the Covered California board meets in Sacramento, there's a nondescript agenda item called "Eligibility and Enrollment Regulations," and the change in policy is expected to be included in that presentation.