How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost?

Today, you will learn about the costs of ABA therapy.

Ruben Kesherim
June 22, 2023

How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost?

Cost Of ABA Therapy

Without insurance coverage, ABA therapy costs $62,400 to $249,600 per year.

ABA therapy costs can range from $4,800 to over $20,000 per month without insurance coverage.

Weekly costs for ABA therapy start at $1,200, and can go up to $4,800 without insurance coverage.

ABA therapy can cost from $240 to $600 per day without insurance coverage.

The typical ABA therapy session costs around $120 to $150 per hour.

Determining Factors

Numerous factors can shape the expanse of ABA therapy. One of the greatest is the severity of symptoms that are presented to psychiatrists.

When extreme symptoms are found in a patient, it can take much longer to provide treatment than someone with mild autism. A person's geographical location can also be a big factor, as can the number of therapists that are on call at a particular ABA center.

This is a bigger issue in regions where fewer licensed centers are available to the public, such as in rural areas where the population density is sparse.

Another determination can revolve around the number of hours needed for a client each week. However, in most cases, between 10 and 20 hours per week is enough. Some ABA therapists aren't as experienced as others are, especially those just starting their careers in the field.

For those people, it could result in longer time spent with their clients when therapy is in session.

The rate at which a therapist is willing to work can alter time in ABA as well.

ABA specialists may at times choose to change course plans as a treatment for them progresses, which could increase the time that a child spends with them by months or even years.

The location of an ABA clinic can also determine the time, such as the location being close or far away from a residential area or not within distance to the people they serve, including if the opposite were true.

Still, what's mentioned is proof of ABA not being as discouraging as some could make it out to be. Regardless, attempting to calculate their bill over months won't be accurate. Affordability is an issue for some parents though.

As an alternative to an ABA therapist that's BCBA certified, parents can look further into pediatricians capable of performing caregiving work.

This could hinder the amount of support given to a child though, along with funding opportunities in the future. Parents can also look into receiving grants in their state, which are routinely given out for autistic children and adolescents.

How Much ABA Therapy Is Needed?

The amount of ABA therapy that's needed for a child is determined by the severity of their autism, the location of the center, and the costs associated with their treatment.

ABA therapy is based on evidence, an intervention that's relied upon to treat numerous conditions, though the primary is an autism spectrum disorder.

Other intellectual disabilities are also treatable in ABA centers, like ADHD and social anxiety disorder.

The primary objective of ABAA is to assist people in the acquisition of novel abilities and skills, lower behaviors deemed problematic, and boost those which are adaptive.

This means that ABA can minimize severe reactions caused by one's autism and help clients gain control over themselves, where they can better adapt to the world and social settings they're placed in. As mentioned, numerous factors can play a role in determining ABA length.

How extreme one's condition is will play a huge role in this. People with severe conditions will need to undergo more intensive therapy. Age can also be a key determinant of therapy length. Younger kids usually require therapy that's both intense and quite frequent. Compared to other children, therapy sessions may not take up as much of their time.

A person's needs, goals, and ambitions can also contribute to their length of ABA. It's a very individualized form of treatment and the amount of therapy required is highly dependent on objectives that are specific to every person.

Someone, for instance, that's working on bettering their speaking abilities could need more sessions than another that needs to lower the number of repetitive behaviors exhibited by them.

The progress rate for children is also an important determination.

People that are progressing through the therapy sessions at a rapid pace could need less overall therapy than someone making gains at a slower pace.

It's due to therapy becoming less intensive and needing fewer hours for someone's goals to be reached. This is bound to happen as time spent in ABA increases.

Most of the time, ABA is given over several days of the week for a couple of hours each day. The time could be about the same as what is spent in regular schooling. The precise amount of hours every week can be based on someone's requirements and how severe their conditions are.

Some may need over 20 hours every week. 40 hours a week isn't uncommon either, though some could also have fewer than 10.

Duration over longer periods is difficult to predict as some clients have been in therapy for a couple of years but others might be finished in about three to six months.

The amount of ABA therapy that's required varies, so there's no definitive way to calculate the time and funds that will be paid without some error.

Parents and loved ones of people with autism are expected to work with BCBAs that are qualified to create treatment made according to the specifications of every individual case. But with enough therapy, people can and do make great progress in reaching their goals and enhancing their life over time.

The Most Supportive States for ABA Therapy

Plenty of states give support to people with autism and to the places they go for treatment, like ABA therapy. Still, some states are willing to help with more of the financial burden than others.

This can sometimes come from nonprofits located in specific states. It's not always from the policies and laws enacted by the state governments. Regardless, here are the states where parents get can the most benefit from their child going into therapy sessions:

  • California - Unlike many states, California doesn't set a cap on the age limit for which someone can be covered for ABA therapy. This means every healthcare provider must pay for ABA therapy in the state, even if the person going is older than 21. California also has numerous grants to help cover the costs of treatment that cared taken in by insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.
  • Massachusetts - People resident in the state can receive full treatment for ABA therapy, with more benefits that are similar to those available in California.
  • Indiana - The state government is capable of passing out grants to cover ABA therapy expenses yet there aren't grants available to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Colorado - Colorado has no age limit to who can and can't receive financial help for ABA.
  • Vermont - Coverage for ABA in the state and simple. Treatment can be paid for up until a young adult's 21st birthday. There is no limitation on the amount providers can cover and numerous grants are available for eligible children and others with the disorder.
  • Maryland - Children in Maryland can receive ABA coverage until they turn 19. It shares many similarities with Vermont's benefits.
  • New Jersey - New Jersey children are provided help until they turn 21. Additionally, no limit is placed on what can be paid for by healthcare providers. Plenty of grants exist in the state for parents, to the point where they can take care of pocket fees entirely.
  • Washington - No age limitations are in the state for coverage. At the same time, there are no grants given for ABA.
  • New Hampshire - Kids in New Hampshire can get financial backing for ABA until they're 21. There is a cap on the type of coverage given based on some preteen children, but this can be taken care of with grants. Furthermore, there's no mandate that health providers cover ABA.
  • New York - All autism diagnoses are covered in New York as there's no limitation of age. Still, the limitation does exist until funds are provided which go no higher than $45,000. What's left after coverage can be reduced further with all of the grants people with autism are eligible for.

State-funded ABA Therapy Funding

Parents that are looking for help in getting treatment for their autistic child may get it from the state when other options aren't affordable.

Many parents will only consider state therapy when there are no other options available for their child. Below are states with ABA programs that are set up by the state:

  • Colorado - The state of Colorado stipulates that insurance providers cover all ages while in state therapy.
  • California - Grants can be provided for state therapy if they're needed. There are also no limitations to who and who isn't eligible.
  • Indiana - ABA treatment funds are given in the form of grants.
  • New Jersey - Co-pay provides lots of help for people in the state, mostly from grants.
  • New York - Capable of paying for all therapy costs so long as a diagnosis is done, regardless of age.
  • Vermont - ABA is funded for kids until they turn 21, which helps in coverage if the amount is high or low.

Is ABA Therapy Covered by Insurance?

ABA therapy can be covered by health insurance providers in the US.

However, some of them don't. Coverage and reimbursement policies for ABA treatment can change from organization, state, and region. They can also depend on numerous other factors.

ABA therapy is considered to be an essential service as per the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, it must be paid for by the insurance plan and must be paid for at the marketplace level. Still, the extent to which coverage goes can change with every individual's insurance coverage plan.

There are insurance plans that have caps on the number of sessions that will be covered, or some may pay for just a segment of the total price.

Other states maintain laws that stipulate insurance coverage for people with autism.

This occurs in states like California, where providers are required to cover insurance costs for people younger than 19. But in New York, insurers have to cover ABA for people based on conditions other than them only having the disorder.

Parents should check with their employer's insurance provider for specific services that are covered for their child, and whether any out-of-pocket expenses are placed under their responsibility

It's helpful to go over such details with an insurance specialist to move through the insurance system to receive the most out of it. This can help families get coverage that's most beneficial to their children.

One common way for people to pay the costs of ABA therapy is through health insurance.

That's because of its simplicity. People can receive either full coverage or partial coverage that requires them to help with it.

There are limitations, the person receiving help will be required to help with a deductible. This is the money that's shown after one's policy has finished paying for the therapy sessions.

Limited coverage means parents will have to assist with a deductible or the dollar amount that's left. If someone's deductible for an ABA session is $450, it's the amount that must be covered with their expenses. It can be reduced further with grants that are provided by state governments and nonprofits.

Are There Schools That Fund ABA Therapy?

Yes, some schools do fund ABA therapy. They don't all come from hospitals and clinics. Many schools have programs for children with autism, so they can learn and receive therapy all under the same roof. The principal might request an evaluation with a child to ensure eligibility.

Once that's done, therapy costs would be covered entirely.

Then there are situations where schools may cover the costs for ABA therapy by employing behavioral technicians for children in special needs classrooms. When this occurs, the analyst will work closely with school faculty and parents to show where improvements are being made.

ABA Financial Assistance and Scholarships

There are ABA centers that offer financial assistance to kids with disorders, especially autistic children. The payment can change per person but the amount of financial assistance is typically high enough to reduce costs significantly.



Similar Articles