Michigan insurance company agreed to settle austistic treatment for children

The Michigan class action settlement on autism treatment will hopefully stop the insurance companies claiming that behavioral therapy for autistic children is experimental. It is a significant victory for the austistic families who compelled the insurance companies to treat autism treatment in a different way.

The family of an autistic child sued Blue Cross for allegedly failing to acknowledge that a treatment known as applied behavioral analysis is scientifically valid. ABA therapy attempts to change behavior through positive and negative reinforcements.

According to plaintiff lawyers it is a land mark case where for the first time a Michigan insurance company will reimburse the treatment cost of autism children to at least 100 families.

Under the settlement, Blue Cross will pay for behavioral therapy rendered to more than 100 children in the past six years. Lawyer believes this is the first such lawsuit settlement where an insurance company has agreed to pay for autism treatment.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced on May 11 that it will offer its customer groups the ability to purchase coverage for autism treatment programs that provide intensive early intervention.

The new benefit option involves coverage for children aged two to five years old who use ABA, although the insurance carrier said that it still considers ABA an investigational and experimental treatment.

According to Thomas Simmer, M.D., Blues Cross Blue Shield of Michigan senior vice president and chief medical officer, We saw a need in the community and moved to find a way to address it, We developed this coverage option as part of our commitment to improving the health and wellness of all Michigan children and families.

Source: law.com



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