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Ohio State Workers Gain Autism Insurance Benefits

May 01, 2013

COLUMBUS (May 1, 2013) -- More than 40,000 Ohio children whose parents are covered under state employee health plans will begin receiving autism insurance benefits July 1 through agreements reached between their bargaining units and the Kasich administration.

The announcement was made by Governor John Kasich who promised in  December he would offer the insurance benefits to state employees and include the coverage as an essential health benefit under the state's Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans. Ohio is the only state yet to enact autism insurance reform that has elected to include the coverage through the ACA plans, which start operation next year.

The coverage includes speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). A Kasich administration official said the state expects the cost will stay below 1 percent of total spending by the health plans. 

 “For families that have autism in their lives, it can be a tough path," said Bob Blair, director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. "If they can get help, it’s expensive, and that cost puts additional strains on relationships and family life. We can do better and I’m proud that we are doing better with this agreement to provide access to this important care.”