Union pushes for further ABA coverage in federal employee health plans
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The American Federation of Government Employees lauds the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) recent announcement to have Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment for children with autism included in Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plans. For years, AFGE insisted that OPM recognize ABA as a clinically proven treatment for the medical condition of autism; however, OPM refused saying it was more an "educational" intervention than a medical treatment. Through AFGE's efforts, beginning in 2013, 39 FEHBP plans in 22 states will offer some level of coverage for ABA. While this is a critical first step, it is short of the mandate in place in 31 states that requires private insurers to provide ABA coverage.
"OPM still has not required FEHBP plans to cover ABA. It has merely taken the important first step of allowing coverage," said AFGE National President J. David Cox. "While we consider this an important victory, we still must do more to ensure that the parents of autistic children have all of the resources available to them to care for their children. Parents should not have to worry if vital services will be covered by their insurance plan."AFGE will continue to press OPM to require all plans to cover ABA on the same terms that they cover other therapeutic treatments for illnesses. The following FEHBP plans will offer full or partial ABA coverage in the states listed below. AZ Health Net Arizona AR QualChoice CA United Healthcare CA; Anthem Blue Cross Select HMO/CA; Blue Shield of CA Access + HMOFL Capital Health; Coventry So FL; Humana Coverage First; Humana IncGA Humana Coverage FirstIL Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois; Blue Preferred Plus POS; Humana Coverage First; Humana Benefit Plan IL; Humana Health Plan IN Physicians Health Plan No IndianaIA Coventry IAKS Coventry KS; Humana Coverage FirstKY Humana Coverage First; Humana Health Plan IncLA Coventry LA PA Geisinger; Health America; UPMC Health PlanMA Fallon Community Health Plan MI Bluecare Network MI; Grand Valley; Health AllianceMO Blue Preferred Plus POS; Humana Coverage First; Humana Health Plan Inc; United Healthcare of MidwestNV Health Plan NV NM Lovelace NY Blue Choice; CDPHP Universal Benefits; Independent Health Association; MVP Health Care TX Firstcare; Humana Coverage First; Humana Health Plan TX; United Healthcare of TX VA OptimaWA Group Health WI MercyCare