Wednesday, May 18. 2011

Insurance Coverage for ABA Services

In recent weeks, we've had mixed experiences working with insurance companies and obtaining coverage of ABA services. The hard work of parents and advocates has really paid off in some states, such as Minnesota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. We've even seen great progress with military insurance coverage thanks to the work of Jerry Shook and others with the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. But California is a different state of affairs.

The small subgroup of families that even have ABA services included in their health insurance plans are now finding out that the only ABA services authorized require 100% implementation by licensed clinicians. Now as a licensed clinical psychologist myself, I know that it is unrealistic for me to be present for every hour of a child's intervention. Not only is it cost-prohibitive for a licensed provider to be present for every hour of ABA intervention, it isn't evidence-based practice! The data on intensive ABA programs has historically relied on the undergraduate student implementers of the intervention, not licensed professionals.

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