In the United States, parents of children with autism have used three different strategies to have the cost of Intensive Behavioral Treatment (IBT) based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) covered. The earliest cases used very strong federal education legislation to force school districts to pay for treatment. There have been hundreds of cases that are educational in nature using the U.S. Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (the IDEA). This federal act deemed educational systems responsible for children from age 3+.
For those children under three years of age, parents sued state health departments to fund Early Intensive Behavioral Treatment (EIBT) based on the principles of ABA until the child was old enough to have the educational system fund the treatment. Once the organization Autism Votes was established, they lobbied legislators in each of the 50 states to force private health insurance companies to pay for EIBT. Due to their herculean efforts, at least forty-four states now have Autism Insurance Mandates. Concurrently, parents started to sue private health insurance companies.
The cases on this page represent many cases of significance; however, the list is not comprehensive since new cases are coming to the docket every year.