NewsHealth / April 10, 2018

Insurer Agrees To $1.6M Settlement Over Autism Therapy

Anthem has agreed to pay more than $1.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by parents denied coverage for therapy for their children with autism. - AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

Anthem has agreed to pay more than $1.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by parents denied coverage for therapy for their children with autism.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Insurance company Anthem has agreed to pay more than $1.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Indiana parents who were denied coverage for therapy for their children with autism.

The Indianapolis Star reports two families sued Anthem in 2016 after the company stopped covering their children's applied behavioral analysis, an intense and individualized therapy that focuses on improved communication, social skills and other behaviors.

In settling the lawsuit, Anthem agreed to stop using guidelines that base coverage for ABA therapy solely on an individual's age. Anthem and the plaintiffs said in a joint statement the resolution "ensures that Anthem members continue to receive the support they need."

The suit was brought by Chester and Kathryn Pierce, of Elkhart County, and Indianapolis residents Michael Beck and Joanne Kehoe.

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