BALTIMORE (March 10, 2014) -- A Maryland agency has directed many of the state's private health plans to start covering treatments for individuals with autism through age 18. The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) finalized regulations that will require insurers to cover at least 25 hours a week of habilitative care for children with autism aged 18 months through 5 years, and a minimum of 10 hours a week of therapy for ages 6 though 18.
The new regulations culminate years of work by the MIA to clarify how Maryland's habilitative care law applied to autism treatment. Rather than enact autism insurance reform legislation, the Maryland Legislature in 2012 directed the state agency to undertake the review and implement new regulations.
Autism Speaks worked closely with Pathfinders for Autism and other Maryland advocates to help shape the new regulations to require the best coverage.
Still remaining to be completed is the enactment of a new licensing statute so that Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA's) can be included in the list of reimbursable providers under the habilitative care mandate, as well as continued advocacy for the adoption of the tiered delivery model for ABA.
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