PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Portland has ruled that a major Oregon health provider cannot deny coverage to autistic children for a specific treatment.
Judge Michael H. Simon found Providence Health Plan violated state and federal laws in its denial of Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA. ABA can cost up to $50,000 a year.
Last year, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill requiring insurers to pay for ABA starting in 2016.
Months before the ruling, Providence decided to cover up to 25 hours a week of the therapy. But families often seek coverage for more than 25 hours per week.
Because it was a class action suit, the decision could affect hundreds of children and other Oregon insurers and plans who have denied ABA.
Simon issued the ruling on August 8.