Belmont Law Review


Since 2007, numerous state legislatures have enacted insurance mandates relating to treatment for autism. In the absence of an autism insurance mandate, health insurers typically do not cover “one of the most commonly prescribed therapies” for autism, which is an intensive therapeutic intervention based on Applied Behavior Analysis (commonly called “ABA therapy”). The autism insurance mandates that have swept the nation during the last decade require coverage for ABA therapy and other care that is ordered by a physician and deemed medically necessary to treat autism. This article (1) examines why so many legislatures that traditionally resist insurance mandates embrace this one, and (2) suggests that enactment of an autism insurance mandate is not only consistent with traditional conservative ideology but is in fact an embodiment of conservative core values.