State News

NC's employee health plan covers autism treatment

Posted May 30, 2014

— The families of North Carolina public employees and retirees next year will be eligible for a leading autism treatment.

The State Health Plan Board of Trustees voted Friday to offer applied behavioral analysis to address the behavior problems that can come with autism spectrum disorder.

“This coverage is the right thing to do,” State Treasurer Janet Cowell, chairwoman of the board, said in a statement. “It offers the opportunity to change the lives of children, young adults and families living with autism spectrum disorder. The benefit fulfills the mission of the State Health Plan to be a leader on health issues in the state.”

Coverage for the treatment will be provided for health plan members younger than 26 who are diagnosed by a licensed physician or clinical psychologist when it's determined to be medically necessary. Treatment will be limited to $36,000 per benefit year and will be only available in-network.

The advocacy group Autism Speaks says 37 other states recognize the benefits of the autism treatment.

The health plan covers more than 670,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, legislators, university and community college workers, state hospital staff and their dependents.

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