UnitedHealth Autism Policy Flouts Parity Act, Judge Rules

By Emily Brill (March 8, 2021, 7:58 PM EST) -- A California federal judge has ruled that UnitedHealth's refusal to pay for a popular autism treatment violates the federal benefits law and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires insurers to take mental health issues as seriously as physical ailments when making coverage decisions.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed a win Friday to an anonymous California mother, who had challenged UnitedHealth's refusal to cover behavioral therapies like applied behavioral analysis, or ABA, a common form of autism treatment.

Jane Doe had argued that the coverage exclusion — which she encountered when she tried to enroll her...

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