Are you a Garden State resident needing ABA therapy services for your child or teenager with an autism spectrum diagnosis? Are you concerned that your insurance provider may not cover your loved one’s ABA therapy costs, and if so, do you wonder what other options are available to help your family offset the potential expense of this essential autism care? If so, understanding the ins and outs of ABA insurance coverage in New Jersey is crucial for you and your child’s best outcomes utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis for autism.
Fortunately, New Jersey offers parents who wish to provide the best care for their children living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) many options for ABA insurance coverage. However, it is still vital that parents understand the benefits different plans offer regarding ABA to make the most informed choices for their neurodivergent loved one and family to limit surprise bills or expenses.
Navigating ABA insurance coverage benefits can be straightforward with the right resources, knowledge, and support. This blog by ABA Centers of New Jersey gives parents a comprehensive guide to understanding ABA insurance coverage in New Jersey.
Here, we will explore how ABA insurance works in the state and whether Medicaid covers ABA therapy. Furthermore, we’ll explore standard criteria necessary for accessing ABA insurance coverage to ensure your child has the support they need to start making progress towards their milestones now.
From understanding what ABA therapy entails to discovering how families can pay for this invaluable treatment through insurance, we’ve got you covered, so keep reading!
And be sure to explore more of our site to learn more about ABA therapy options with ABA Centers of New Jersey.
What Is ABA Therapy for Autism?
Applied Behavioral Analysis, more commonly referred to as ABA therapy, is an evidence-based behavioral approach supporting individuals with autism by teaching them new skills necessary for the most independent living possible. Additionally, ABA therapy helps neurodivergent individuals understand their environment more deeply for safer experiences while assisting them to cope with everyday obstacles life on the spectrum can bring. However, these components only represent some valuable teachings clients learn through ABA therapy.
While ABA therapy benefits many children, teenagers, and adults alike, obtaining coverage for these services can, for some, be time-consuming and exhausting, sometimes blocking families from even beginning the process of seeking ABA care or ABA insurance coverage despite valid clinical research supporting its efficacy.
Does New Jersey Require Insurance to Cover ABA Therapy?
Fortunately, New Jersey state acknowledges ABA therapy as a medical necessity for those on the spectrum and a proven method of significantly enhancing their daily functioning. According to Autism Speaks the state is mandated to provide meaningful coverage for ABA therapy under state-regulated plans. The New Jersey Autism insurance law, signed in 2009, became effective in 2010. A later bulletin published in 2010 rectified dollar caps on service coverages within the state.
Plans that apply to the state’s autism insurance law include:
- Individual Plans
- Fully insured large group plans
- Fully insured small group plans.
Other autism services covered under these plans include speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapy.
While New Jersey does have some caps on ABA insurance coverage, such as limiting services to individuals on the spectrum under 21 years of age, under The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, federal law generally limits group health plans and health insurance providers covering mental health benefits from these limitations, including limits on funding and age.
However, the ABA insurance coverage levels and requirements can differ from plan to plan, and deciphering technicalities and jargon (while confusing) is essential. Parents must familiarize themselves with their specific insurance policies and understand their ABA insurance coverage options.
Call your insurer to determine any limitations to ensure the mandate applies to your existing healthcare plan. Doing so will give you a clear idea of included services, what costs you will be responsible for, and what requirements you need to meet to receive benefits.
Regarding ABA insurance coverage eligibility criteria under Chapter 115 enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, services under the order must provide coverage when the child’s primary diagnosis is autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the medical provider must deem the services medically necessary for the child’s condition. Additionally, prescribed therapy and treatment plans only receive coverage in some cases.
The patient’s established Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or ABA agency provider can often create these treatment plans. But as always, check your insurer guidelines thoroughly to ensure a physician isn’t required to create or sign off on the treatment plan.
Does Medicaid Provide ABA Insurance Coverage?
Families with loved ones who have autism living in New Jersey may have questions about whether Medicaid will cover ABA therapy. Fortunately, as a component of the Medicaid ESPDT benefit, as described by NJ FamilyCare, the name of New Jersey’s Medicaid program, beneficiaries receive coverage for all medically needed services to treat or reduce a child’s behavioral struggles and condition.
As a result, essential services necessary to enhance life for neurodivergent families, including Applied Behavior Analysis and occupational and speech therapy for beneficiates under 21, receive coverage.
However, it is a requirement to meet family income criteria to qualify for ABA coverage through this program. All children under the age of 19 are eligible for Medicaid coverage so long their family’s income does not reach beyond 355% of the federal poverty level, according to NJ FamilyCare. While some states overlook income requirements for neurodivergent children, New Jersey does not.
Children on the spectrum under NJ family care can only receive coverage if their parent’s income is below the maximum the program sets. For more information about eligibility and income standards, visit the NJ FamilyCare eligibility page.
Tips to Maximize Your ABA Insurance Coverage and Save Money
Regarding ABA therapy and ABA insurance coverage, maximizing your benefits and saving where you can is essential and frees you up to support your child in other ways. One of the best ways to achieve both goals is to start by understanding your ABA insurance coverage. Familiarize yourself with the specifics of your plan, including the type and amount of ABA therapy covered and any deductibles or copays you’re responsible for.
You should also keep accurate and thorough communication records with your insurer and healthcare providers to review them should you have any concerns. Additionally, it’s essential to communicate effectively with your insurer and advocate for your child’s needs clearly and firmly. By following these steps, you can ensure that you maximize your ABA insurance coverage and receive the care your family needs to progress.
Additionally, consider working with an experienced ABA provider who can help you navigate the healthcare system more effectively. By collaborating with an ABA expert, you can create a comprehensive ABA plan that meets your treatment and financial requirements while accessing the high-quality care your child on the spectrum deserves.
Other Helpful Resources Regarding Financial Support for ABA Therapy in New Jersey
Numerous helpful resources are available for families in New Jersey seeking insurance coverage for their loved ones requiring ABA therapy. From advocacy organizations like Autism Speaks to government programs offered by the State of New Jersey Department of Health, there are many ways to obtain reliable and necessary coverage if you need more support. These resources can provide peace of mind and ensure your neurodivergent loved one receives the care they need for better days.
Getting the Autism Support You Need without the Financial Burden
ABA Therapy can be life-changing for families with loved ones experiencing neurodiversity, and utilizing ABA insurance coverage can help make therapy more affordable and accessible. Thanks to the range of insurance coverage options available in NJ, families can explore what their health insurance covers and investigate their loved one’s ABA therapy options. These autism resources can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals receiving ABA care and their family members, resulting in much brighter futures and more incident-free days.
More About ABA Centers of New Jersey
At ABA Centers of New Jersey, we offer exceptional ABA therapy services to children and families in the state. We believe in personalized ABA care tailored to each child’s needs and goals. One of the many benefits of our ABA Centers is that we work with families to help them get the ABA insurance coverage they need and more comprehensively understand ABA insurance benefits. We work hard to ensure families receive high-quality ABA care without worrying about the financial burden.
Every child experiencing developmental uniqueness deserves the chance to reach their full potential. We commit daily to making that happen. Call our ABA team immediately at (855) 929-5058 or contact us here so we can provide helpful insights to ensure your loved one gets the best care possible.