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October 9, 2014 at 12:12 PM

State Supreme Court: Insurers must cover therapies to treat autism

OLYMPIA — Washington’s Supreme Court says health insurers must cover certain developmental therapies, such as those used to treat autism, if they’re medically necessary.

The justices on Thursday unanimously rejected arguments from Regence BlueShield, which claimed that the state’s Mental Health Parity Act does not require coverage of neurodevelopmental therapies. Those can include speech, occupational and physical therapies.

The case was brought by the families of two children who need the treatments. Regence denied coverage to one, while the other was afraid of having coverage denied. A lower court judge ruled in favor of the families, saying language in their contract with the insurer excluding the therapies from coverage was invalid under state law.

Regence appealed to the Supreme Court.

Comments | Topics: autism, neurodevelopmental therapy, Regence BlueShield

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