The move comes after the state was sued in 2012 for denying such coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services lifted that restriction in October 2015.
Vicki Depenbusch with the Autism Family Network says Medicaid covering some treatments, like Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), is a long time coming.
“It’s a huge expense. Parents were paying anywhere from $40,000-60,000 out-of-pocket,” Depenbusch tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We realize the benefit of that program, but we couldn’t get insurance to help cover that.”
Depenbusch says some private insurers still do not cover ABA for children with autism.
She says getting that coverage is the next big step needed to help those affected with the disorder.
Getting federal approval for the Medicaid coverage was the final step in the state’s framework, according to Calder Lynch, director of the DHHS Division of Medicaid and Longterm Care.
“These are important, intensive services for young children with these conditions that have proven to have a tremendous impact on their cognitive abilities and behavior over time,” Lynch tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Services approved for coverage include day treatment, community treatment aide, and outpatient therapy.