Autism therapy ‘essential benefit’

SB 126 would require insurers to fund ABA therapy

Golden State autism-care advocates received some good news on the heels of their disappointment after the state budget agreed upon by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislative Budget Conference Committee eliminated a $50 million general-fund provision to fund autism services.

Senate Bill 126, authored by Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), “would require California insurers to include applied behavior analysis—known as ABA therapy—as an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act,” according to California Healthline.

The proposed law, unanimously approved by the Assembly Committee on Health, would affect approximately 12,700 people with private insurance who are diagnosed with autism.

“This bill is a huge step in the right direction in giving families a ray of hope that brings light at the end of the tunnel,” Steinberg said.