Gov. Noem, Avera, and Sanford Announce ABA Coverage in 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  – In a joint statement Friday, Governor Noem, Avera Health and Sanford Health announced they will offer coverage for a therapy benefiting children with autism in 2020 after South Dakota families lost coverage this year.

In 2021, all Affordable Care Act individual and small group plans will be required to include coverage for applied behavior analysis therapy, or ABA. The statement says both carriers will offer at least one individual health insurance plan option for 2020.

Many children with autism seek ABA. It’s a therapy that takes about 30 to 40 hours per week. The individualized therapy teaches children social skills while early intervention is still possible.

KDLT News spoke with South Dakota parents in February who say ABA made a huge impact on their children with autism. The families received letters from their insurance providers in January saying they will no longer cover ABA for those with small group or individual insurance plans.

Open enrollment for plans offered in 2020 will begin on Nov. 1, 2019, with coverage effective Jan. 1, 2020.

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