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Parents Advocate For Behavioral Therapy Coverage

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:27am

Parents of kids with autism are criticizing what they call California’s fractured health regulation system. They say it results in inconsistent coverage of essential treatments for their children.

They attended a Senate committee hearing Wednesday at the State Capitol. Jerry Flanagan of Consumer Watchdog was with them. He says plans regulated under the Insurance Commissioner provide essential behavioral therapies, but it’s not the same for insurers under the State’s Department of Managed Health Care.

“It is absolutely outrageous that a child gets the care that they need for autism, should depend on what regulator regulates their parents insurance company,” said Flanagan.

The Department’s Lynne Randolph says it does require health plans to cover behavioral therapy–when provided by a licensed practitioner. Some health plans dispute payments, calling behavioral therapy educational training, not medical treatment.

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