Major Corporations Include Autism Benefits in 2015 Employee Health Care Packages

Real Estate

Several major corporations, including Fortune 500 companies such as Bank of America, Comcast, Nike, and Novartis, have voluntarily introduced behavioral health treatment coverage for autism, a category that includes Applies Behavioral Analysis, in their 2015 employee health plans. Another, JetBlue Airways, will introduce the coverage to its employees this July.

Because all of these companies self-insure their health plans, they are exempt from state insurance statutes and regulations, such as autism insurance reform laws. Their health plans are regulated by federal ERISA law.

“These leading companies chose to do the right thing for their employees by voluntarily offering coverage for autism diagnosis and treatment, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA),” said Lorri Unumb, vice president of state government affairs for Autism Speaks. Doing so, he noted, will help companies attract and retain high-quality employees.

According to a 2013 Mercer survey of health benefit plans offered by companies with more than 500 employees, 82 percent offered some coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism. The survey found that 36 percent covered behavioral health treatment, such as ABA, compared with 32 percent the previous year.

Companies that plan to cover autism diagnosis and treatment starting in 2015 are as follows:

Mutual Insurance Company Amica: Amica, based in Lincoln, Rhode Island, has about 3,200 employees. The company, which was founded in 1907, claims to be the oldest auto owner mutual insurance company in the U.S. This company offers a wide range of insurance products including marine coverage, personal excessive liability, homeowners of homes and automobiles.

Bank of America: Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America is ranked No. 21 on the Fortune 500 list. Its 245,000 employees serve a wide range of clients, from individuals to giant corporations. In addition to banking, it offers asset management services, investment services, and a number of other financial and risk management services. Bank of America has 15,700 ATMs and 4,900 retail stores.

Georgia Power: This Atlanta-based electrical service company has about 8,310 employees and began in 1902 as a streetcar company. It has grown to be the largest utility company in the Southern Company electrical utility stable. The company serves more than two million customers in most of the state’s 159 counties.

Novartis: Novartis, a Swiss-based global pharmaceutical corporation, employs nearly 135,000 people worldwide. Formed in 1996 with the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, the company manufactures both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as contact lenses, vaccines, and veterinary health products.

Rock-Tenn: Ranked 293 on the Fortune 500, this Georgia company specializes in packaging and other paper products. Founded in 1898 in Nashville, Tennessee, the company’s 26,000 employees are spread across the world at 245 Rock-Tenn facilities.

TD Bank: Formed in 2008 when Commerce Bank merged with TD Banknorth, New Jersey-based TD Bank offers various banking services to commercial, retail and small business clients throughout the eastern United States.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc: Started in 1937, this investment firm provides secondary advisory services, separate account management, and mutual funds to a wide variety of organizations, corporations, and individuals. Through its more than 5,300 employees, the company offers financial guidance and investment planning tools.

Comcast: Comcast, the largest home Internet and cable service provider in the United States, is ranked 44th on the Fortune 500 list. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the company operates in 40 states and Washington, DC. It owns NBC Universal, Telemundo, and also operates Golf Channel, NBCSN, E! Entertainment Television and Universal Parks and Resorts.

Nike: The sportswear and apparel giant, ranked 115 on the Fortune 500 list, has nearly 44,000 employees at its headquarters and in other locations around the world. Its trademark “swoosh” has become known around the world for the company’s excellence in sports apparel and equipment.

JetBlue Airways: This New York-based airline will offer behavioral health treatment for autism among its benefits starting in July 2015 to its 15,000 employees. Ranked 466 on the Fortune 500 list, Jet Blue helps families affected by autism with its Blue Horizons for Autism program that it created in partnership with Autism Speaks. The program enables people with autism, as well as their families, to travel in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *