Under threat of a federal lawsuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced Monday that it will begin offering coverage for autism treatments July 1.

Christopher Johns, whose son has autism, filed suit earlier this year after Blue Cross denied claims for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) because the insurer said the treatment is experimental.

Now Blue Cross says it will offer autism coverage including up to 60 sessions of ABA therapy in group plans, pending regulatory approval. Michigan does not require insurers to cover autism.

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“We are pleased that the pressure of our federal court lawsuit has caused Blue Cross to begin doing the right thing and we are confident that our litigation will cause Blue Cross to provide other relief and benefits to those children with autism,” Johns’ attorney, Gerard Mantese, told The Detroit News.


Previous stories on this topic:

Judge Tells Insurer To Prove Behavior Therapy Is Experimental (March 9, 2009)

Judge Considers Suit Against Blue Cross Over Autism Treatment (February 26, 2009)

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