California to require insurers to cover more autism treatment services

California is expanding the kinds of autism treatments insurers in the state must cover, and expanding the definition of qualified autism service professionals. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 805 Oct. 8, which expands the definition of qualified autism service professionals to include behavioral health professionals, psychology associates, associate marriage and family therapists, associate clinical social workers and associate professional clinical counselor. 

The bill also expands requirements for types of treatments insurers must cover. Previous law restricted mandatory coverage to applied behavior analysis. New law will require insurers to cover all evidence-based forms of behavioral health treatment. 

"Early intervention and individualized care are key actions necessary for more successful autism treatment outcomes. That’s why I authored this bill to expand insurance coverage of additional treatment options," California Sen. Anthony Portantino said in an Oct. 11 news release.  "The current system of care for individuals with autism includes essentially only one option and that's insufficient. 

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