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updated: 6/22/2014 9:40 AM

Insurer's cuts cloud future for autism therapists

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Associated Press

FISHERS, Ind. -- Indiana autism therapists are reducing staff and services following steep cuts by the state's largest health insurer.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield began implementing the changes two years ago by directing that children age 7 and older receive a portion of their autism therapy from public schools.

In January 2013, the insurer cut its reimbursements for applied behavior analysis therapy by 40 percent.

The changes are a sharp departure in Indiana. The state in 2001 became the first to require health insurers to cover autism therapy in a meaningful way.

Providers say additional cuts could force them out of business.

The Indiana Department of Education says one in 77 Indiana children has a form of autism or pervasive developmental disorders.

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