PLANO, Texas -- The health insurance overhaul passed this spring came as a relief to parents of autistic children, many of whom spend thousands of dollars out of pocket for treatments that no one else will cover.
Plano mother MariAnn Gattelaro has waged a long fight for coverage of behavioral therapy for her son Sam, 7, who has autism. Insurers say the therapy is educational, she says, while 'the school district is telling us that it's medical.' The new federal regulations will prohibit spending caps, prevent insurers from excluding pre-existing conditions and behavioral health care, and extend dependent care to age 26. The rules are potentially good news for families struggling with costly treatments that can blur the line between medical and educational expenses and don't end with childhood.