California firm adds autism to health insurance coverage — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

California firm adds autism to health insurance coverage

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After data management company NetApp added coverage for autistic children to its health plan in 2006, 31 of the organization’s 5,000 employees used the benefit the first year. A total of 43 have tapped it so far.

“This is a benefit that is badly needed in this day and age, with the number of children [diagnosed with autism] increasing, especially because early intervention is important,” said Benefits Manager Julie O’Hara.

The expanded plan covers 100% of medical expenses related to the autism of an employee’s child. It has cost the organization $242,452 over two years.

“We care about our employees, so that’s the humane side,” O’Hara said. “But on the productivity side, if an employee has a child who’s not doing well, they aren’t the best employee they can be.”

Julie O’Hara at

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