PREVIEW: Treatment For Autism Denied


Imagine you had a child suffering from a condition and found what you thought was a wonder treatment to help. 

Now imagine if your insurance company decided one day to stop giving you coverage for that treatment. That’s what happened to some parents in our area.  

KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke has been investigating the reason why and joins us now with a preview to a story she’s working on. 

Angela Kennecke: In 2015, the state of South Dakota passed a law to mandate coverage by insurance companies for Applied Behavior Analysis for children with autism. It’s an intense, individualized therapy for children with autism who can need up to 40 hours of the treatment a week.

We spoke with mothers who say ABA has been a miracle for their children. 

“He’s made significant progress with ABA. This is the only thing he’s ever made progress with,” Nici Petrich said. 

Angela Kennecke: Is it medically necessary? 

Darcy Weber: Absolutely. Before ABA, my son only spoke 100 words at age 3.

Angela Kennecke: But In South Dakota, insurance companies are only mandated to cover people in large group policies of over 50 members. Despite that, many insurance companies were still covering the therapy for people holding individual or small group policies until now. 

Angela Kennecke: So what changed and what does it mean for the children? You won’t want to miss our investigation into “Treatment for Autism Denied” Monday at 10. 

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