In a preliminary ruling, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant found that Kaiser Permanente's refusal to pay for a child's autism treatment because the provider was not licensed by the state runs counter to California's Mental Health Parity Act. That act requires insurers to cover care for mental and behavioral problems at the same levels they do for physical illnesses.
"A refusal to pay for . . . services based on the fact that the provider is not licensed is inconsistent with the intent of parity," Chalfant wrote in his Oct. 20 ruling.
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