Two large health insurers, Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) and Health Net Inc. (NYSE:HNT), have agreed to cover applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy and similar therapies for California residents with autism whenever a behavioral therapy approach is found to be medically necessary.
Cigna, Bloomfield, Conn., and Health Net, Woodland Hills, Calif., made the deal with California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
Jones negotiated a similar agreement in January with Blue Shield of California, San Francisco, and he says in an announcement of the settlement that Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP), has been providing coverage for behavioral therapy, under the direction of California regulators, since 2009.
Jones says Health Net and Cigna have:
- Agreed to maintain an adequate provider network to enable them to provide treatment for all insureds with autism.
- Not to reject any claims for medically necessary ABA.
- Create dedicated customer service units or support teams specially trained to handle inquiries about ABA, requests for coverage or authorization, and for payment for ABA services.