AmEx Adds Autism Benefits to 2014 Employee Health Plan

NEW YORK (November 7, 2013) -- American Express has announced it will voluntarily introduce coverage for autism-related treatments, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), in its 2014 employee health benefits plan. The announcement makes American Express the latest major employer that self-funds its health insurance plan to voluntarily offer autism benefits.

"Autism Speaks congratulates American Express on this important step and thanks them for their leadership on this issue," said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. Dan Schulman, group president, enterprise growth at American Express, is a member of the Autism Speaks Board of Directors.

Because American Express self-insures its employee health benefit plan, it is covered under federal ERISA law, which does not require coverage of autism-related benefits, such as ABA and speech, occupational and physical therapy.

American Express joins other major ERISA employers, such as IBM, Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Abbott Labs, Michelin, Princeton University and others in voluntarily offering autism benefits. United Technologies Corp. (UTC) most recently added autism benefits and this summer GM and Chrysler  announced they also would extend the coverage.