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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Why can’t Harvard and BU employees get insurance coverage for autism therapies?

It’s been nearly two years since Massachusetts passed one of the strongest laws in the nation mandating that insurers provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism, without any annual or lifetime limits on the amount of coverage. Yet some of the state’s biggest employers -- including Boston University and Harvard -- don’t provide coverage for therapeutic services that can cost families tens of thousands of dollars every year.

They don’t have to under the state’s ARICA law because they’re self-funded plans that are regulated by federal law and not subject to state law. The federal government added autism coverage to its benefits package for federal employees last June.

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