According to the filing, the $1.7 million fund established through the settlement is to be used to pay retrospective claims for unreimbursed applied behavioral analysis therapy and neurodevelopmental therapies, i.e., speech, occupational and physical therapies, used to treat qualifying mental health conditions during the applicable time period, as well as alternative health insurance purchased by class members to mitigate their damages. Nearly 2,000 people received class notices, the filing states.
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The NECA/IBEW Family Medical Care Plan and its board of trustees are on the wrong end of a proposed class action alleging the parties violated the Employment Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Filed in Washington on behalf of a three-year-old boy by his parents, the complaint claims the self-funded plan, which provides more than 50 employees with medical, surgical and mental health benefits, discriminates against enrollees with developmental health conditions, such as autism. Specifically, it is alleged the plan unlawfully excludes coverage for neurodevelopmental therapies (such as speech, occupational and physical therapies) and applied behavioral analysis. These therapies, the complaint details, “can dramatically improve the health and life-long well-being of insured with developmental mental health conditions, including [autism spectrum disorder].”