Deal to cover specialized therapy announced


Parents of children with autism who’ve been fighting for insurance coverage for a proven-therapy are counting a victory Friday.

Governor Kristi Noem says she has worked with two South Dakota insurance plans to begin offering Applied Behavior Analysis coverage for children in 2020. The two insurers are Sanford Health and Avera Health.

South Dakota found a way to close the loophole that allowed insurers to drop coverage for the therapy. But the new requirements won’t go into effect until 2021.

KELOLAND Investigates has been following the controversy over ABA coverage for autism since February,  when many parents found out their children were losing the benefit.

ABA is intensive and time consuming and can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Parents failed to get legislation passed this year that would have required insurance companies cover the therapy for small groups and individuals.

As we reported in August, many parents felt that Governor Noem had broken her promises to them to help find a solution sooner. They were concerned about their children having to wait for a year and a half to get the therapy and losing any progress they had made.

KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke is talking with insurance companies and parents for reaction both online and on-air on KELOLAND News Friday.

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