Mental Health & Autism Health Project News Stories

Below are links to newspaper articles which document the quest to get autism and mental health treatments covered by insurance companies and related struggles that families have gone through.



12/6/16: Legal aid, disability rights group sue health officials over alleged failure to provide treatment (KSAT)


11/1/16: Why even insured Americans struggle to get mental health care (PBS)


10/27/16: Our Report to the President on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity (Health and Human Services, Federal)

10/3/16: 2016 Autism Society of California Survey Report (Autism Society)


8/30/16: Employers embrace autism benefit coverages (Employee Benefit Adviser)

8/26/16: Schneiderman pursues probe (Rochester Business Journal)


7/15/16: KQED NEWSROOM: Race & Policing, Roadblocks to Mental Health Services, GOP National Convention (KQED YouTube)


6/17/16: Applied Behavior Analysis benefit coverage will be extended to all fully insured commercial members (United HealthCare)


4/1/16: The future of mental health | Darrell Steinberg | TEDxSacramento (TEDx Sacramento YouTube)


3/6/16: Mental Health Parity – Can a Plan Exclude Residential Treatment Facility Benefits? Federal District Court Says No (National Law Review)




12/17/15: Kennedy bill seeks reasons for denial of mental health claims (Boston Globe)


NO DATE Common reasons for a denial and examples of appeal letters (Washington State)


8/30/15: California’s unfinished business with the Americans with Disabilities Act (SF Gate Blog)

8/20/15: CBS Sports worker can sue UnitedHealth over mental health parity (Business Insurance)

8/16/15: Without an insurance mandate in Oklahoma, family is moving to Texas to ensure son with autism continues to get treatment (The Oklahoman)


8/4/15: Senators announce mental health reform bill, pledge to enforce parity (Modern Healthcare)

8/3/15: Congress tried to fix mental health care in 2008. Lawsuits charge it isn't working (VOX)

8/3/15: Advocates Say Mental Health ‘Parity’ Law Is Not Fulfilling Its Promise (KHN)


7/29/15: Health Insurers Face Little Enforcement Of Federal Mental Health Parity Law (NPR)

7/24/15: Insurance Commissioner raises concerns about impacts of health insurance mergers on competition, choice and prices (CA Dept of Insurance)

7/22/15: Class Action Challenges Aetna on Autism (Courthouse News Service)


6/26/16: Where federal health insurance fails autistic children (Federal Times)

6/26/16: Your Dollars @ Work: 5-year-old on Medi-Cal gets ABA - Finally! (Autism Speaks Blog)

6/18/15: Getting Autism Therapy Benefit Doesn’t Mean Getting Access to Care (California Healthline)

6/16/15: California State Auditor blasts Medi-Cal program for inadequate provider networks (San Jose Mercury News)

6/11/15: Medi-Cal Autism Care May Be Lacking (California Healthline)


4/28/15: Senate passes autism insurance reform (Fox 8 News)

4/6/15: Obama Administration Proposes Rules for Medicaid Mental Health Parity (Wall Street Journal)

4/1/15: Kaiser to look for autism’s causes in large-scale study (SF Gate)


3/2015: TeenLife 2015 Therapeutic Programs and Services (Teen Life)


2/28/15: Kids Feel Brunt of Medi-Cal's Growth (Santa Cruz Sentinel)


1/29/15: Half of California's Children Now Covered by Medi-Cal (KQED)



12/11/14: Connecticut Taking Steps to Offer ABA for Low-Income Families on Medicaid (Litchfield County Times)

12/2/14: Insurance mandate amendments in Ohio draw fire from business groups (The Columbus Dispatch)


11/19/14: Autism fund in Michigan attracts business; $2.7M in claims since creation (Crain's Detroit Business)

11/19/14: Mental health coverage: Federal law guarantees parity but California is the enforcer (San Jose Mercury News)

11/14/14: Autism advocates score big victory as state issues insurance mandate (Oregon Live)

11/4/14: Pa. Supreme Court Reinstates In-School Autism Coverage Claim (The Legal Intelligencer)


10/29/14: How personal advocacy influences autism policy (The Detroit News)

10/13/14: Kreidler: Court Decision Bolsters New Rule on Mental Health Benefits for Families (


9/15/14: Autism Benefit Finally a Reality for Children on Medi-Cal (KQED)

9/15/14: Medi-Cal starts covering popular autism therapy (S.California Public Radio)

9/14/14: Autism FAQ: Can I get autism treatment with Medi-Cal? (SF Gate)


8/26/14: Federal Officials Order Medicaid To Cover Autism Services (NPR)

8/24/14: Families of mentally ill children struggle for access to residential treatment (Sacramento Bee)

8/26/14: Federal Officials Order Medicaid To Cover Autism Services (Kaiser Health News)

8/21/14: Regulator: Insurers May Not Limit Doctor Visits For Autism Treatment (The Courant)

8/12/14: Providence slammed by court for denying autism coverage, Oregon Insurance Division's role questioned (Oregonian)

8/14/14: Autism Community Welcomes Coverage (California Healthline)

8/6/14: State: Autism Therapy a Medi-Cal Benefit (California Healthline)


7/29/14: Legal Expert Says State May Be Out of Compliance on Autism Therapy Benefit (California Healthline)

7/21/14: Many Steps To Go Before Authorizing Autism Therapy as Benefit, State Says (California Healthline)

7/17/14: Feds Clarify Obligations To Kids With Autism (Disability Scoop)

7/8/14: CMS Guidance Says Autism Therapy Covered as Medicaid Benefit for Kids (California Healthline)


5/12/14: The debate over sensory processing disorder: Are some kids really ‘out of sync’? (Washington Post)

5/19/14: Settlement lifts Premera's restrictions on autism therapy (

5/13/14: When companies don't cover autism therapy, families suffer (ReportingonHealth)


4/25/14: ABA therapists in CA can no longer be denied for having national, rather than state license (PRNewswire)

4/24/14: How a Legal Decision in Florida Might Affect California's Autism Therapy Policy (California Healthline)

4/24/14: California Court of Appeals Ends State Regulator's Discrimination Against Autistic Children, Says Consumer Watchdog (PR Newswire)

4/23/14: Maryland to Require Autism Insurance Coverage (Autism Speaks)

4/20/14: Boeing Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over ABA Denials (Autism Speaks)

4/18/14: Autism and Insurance Coverage in the United States Update (Autism Daily Newscast)

4/17/14: State Limits Denials of Autism Therapy (California Healthline)

4/1/14: #35: Utah Enacts Autism Insurance Reform (Desert News)



2/24/14: South Dakota Investigates Autism Insurance Reform (



11/18/13: California officials say Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield illegally denied therapy to patients. Health Net is fined $300,000 for repeated violations (LA Times)

11/18/2013: Innovation, Policy Outlook for Autism (California Healthline)

11/1/2013: Judge Approves $2.4M Cigna Autism Denial Class Action Settlement (Top Class Actions)


10/29/2013: Autism Advocates Disagree with Rosy Assessment of Healthy Families Transition (California Healthline)

10/28/2013: For Californians Who Can Afford It, Autism Coverage Should Improve Under ACA (California Healthline)

10/24/2013: Medi-Cal Transition 'Lessons Learned' (California Healthline)

10/24/2013: 'Habilitation' Among new Obamacare benefits (USA Today)

10/24/2013: Georgia families fight to join the 34 states with Autism Insurance Mandates (Fox 19)

10/18/2013: Louisiana's Medicaid program to fund ABA (American Press)

10/15/2013: States Divided on ABA Coverage In New Health Exchanges (Disability Scoop)

10/14/2013: Autism Therapy Mandate Extended, But Not Everyone Benefits (Capital Public Radio)

10/10/2013: Gov. Brown extends insurance coverage for autism treatment (Los Angeles Times)

10/4/2013: The Affordable Care Act: What Parents of Kids with Autism Need to Know (Parents)


9/23/2013: Order Directing Florida Medicaid to Cover ABA Upheld on Appeal (Autism Speaks))

9/17/2013: Ruling's Effect on Autism Coverage (California Healthline)


8/9/2013: Q&A How ACA Will Affect People with Autism (Stateline)

8/5/2013: Politics off Medical Budgets (NBC San Diego VIDEO)


7/8/2013: An Autism Treatment Lost in California's Transition to Healthy Families (Los Angeles Times)

7/1/2013: Senate Talks Address Mental Health Parity (California Healthline)


6/26/2013: Kaiser HMO Hit with a $4 Million Fine (Insurance News)

6/25/2013: California Fines Kaiser $4 Million over Access to Mental Care (Los Angeles Times)

6/25/2013: Lawmakers Lecture Insurance Companies about Paying for Autism Treatments (

6/24/2013: Legislature Cuts Funding for Autism Therapy from the State Budget (Voice of Orange County)

6/20/2013: Governor’s Budget Deprives Vital Care to Autistic Kids on Medi-Cal (EGP News)

6/20/2013: New Budget Makes "Major Change" to Lanterman Act, Autism Policy (California Healthline)

6/18/2013: Despite Promises, Key Autism Therapy Cut from Medi-Cal (State of Health)

6/18/2013: After I-Team Investigation, NY Lawmakers Vote to Close Autism Treatment Loophole (NBC New York)

6/17/2013: Plan for Autism Medi-Cal Benefit Rejected (California Healthline)

6/14/2013: Governor’s Budget Deprives Vital Care to Autistic Kids on Medi-Cal (New America Media)

6/11/2013: Autism Therapy Out of the Budget (California Healthline)

6/7/2013: DHCS Transparency Bill Moves Forward (California Healthline)

6/5/2013: Business Lobby Opposes Health Insurance Mandate for Autistic Kids (


5/30/2013: Plan Proposed to Cover Autistic Children (California Healthline)

5/11/2013: Funding Autism Therapies not only Right, it Makes Sense for Taxpayers (Contra Costa Times)

5/6/2013: Paying for Autism Therapies is Morally Right (Capitol Weekly)


4/28/2013: Autistic Children Losing Services in State Health Insurance Transition, Parents Say (Contra Costa Times)

4/25/2013: Autism, Dental, Mental Health Focus of Transition Concerns (California Healthline)

4/23/2013: Broken Promises for Parents of Autistic Children in CA (

4/23/2013: Low-income Families lose Autism Therapy Services (News10 Video)

4/23/2013: Autism Families Directed to Regional Centers (California Healthline)

4/16/2013: Autism in California: Trouble in Insurance-land (SFGate)

4/11/2013: Shift to Medi-Cal Leaves Autistic Kids Without Adequate Care (New America Media)

4/10/2013: Kids with Autism Lose Access to Services Amid Healthy Families Shift (California Healthline)

4/9/2013: Some Autistic Children Left Out in Medi-Cal Transition (Sacramento Business Journal)

4/9/2013: Getting Autism Services Now with Insurance (VoiceAmerica (Audio)

4/8/2013: Groups Calling for Pause in Transition (California Healthline)

4/5/2013: Healthy Families Savings Goes from $13M to $137K (California Healthline)


3/14/2013: State Regulators Pass Emergency Measures to Ensure Autism Coverage (State Of Health)


2/28/2013: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Emergency Regulation Requiring Medically Necessary Treatment for Autism in Children (California Department of Insurance)



11/4/2012: Mom Sues After Therapy was Denied to Son with Autism (CBS Minnesota)



7/20/2011: Critics Call State's Autism Settlement a "Sham" (SF Gate)

7/14/2011: Blue Shield to Pay for Autism Behavioral Therapy (SF Gate)

7/10/2011: Parents Plead for Autism Coverage in Insurance (ABC 7)

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