U.S. District Judge, Joan Lenard, in an order signed this week, required that Florida’s Medicaid insurance program begin paying services for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is designed to improve the behavior, language, and development of children diagnosed with Autism. The state already required private insurances to cover ABA therapy, but families under Medicaid were being denied these services.

“It is imperative,” the judge wrote, “that autistic children in Florida receive behavior therapy (ABA) immediately to prevent irreversible harm to these children’s health and development.” Although the ruling only impacts Florida for now, it is estimated to have significant outcomes in the future for other states that do not provide coverage for this therapy.

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