Qualcomm Responds to Employees, Adds ABA Insurance Benefits

SAN DIEGO (December 11, 2013) -- Qualcomm, a wireless technology services firm, will introduce coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) for autism in its employee health plan in 2014. (The Qualcomm announcement came as Toyota was sued in federal court by an employee for denying his claims for ABA benefits for his three children who have autism.)

Ranked 149 in the Fortune 500, Qualcomm has become the newest firm to announce it will voluntarily offer the coverage, joining JPMorgan Chase, American Express, United Technologies, General Motors and Chrysler to make the move this year. Each of the companies self-insures its health plan, meaning they are regulated under federal ERISA law which pre-empts state autism insurance reform laws.

Qualcomm's decision was announced by the Autism Health Insurance Project, which reported that the change resulted from a request by two employees, Lisa Lammens and Dave Ross, whose son, Jaxen, is on the autism spectrum.The company has 26,600 employees.