Blue Shield settles autism therapy dispute

Published: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 - 10:39 am

Blue Shield will cover behavioral therapy for autism in accordance with the state's mental health parity law in a settlement with the California Department of Insurance.

The settlement, announced Tuesday, resolves a Department of Insurance enforcement action filed in July and confirms terms that Blue Shield agreed to at that time.

The agency said Blue Shield had refused to cover applied behavior analysis therapy and steered parents of autistic children into a medical review process to secure treatment.

Under the settlement, Blue Shield will establish a customer service unit to respond to families seeking applied behavior analysis therapy and will pay for services at higher benefit levels, state officials said.

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