- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The families of North Carolina public employees and retirees next year will be eligible for a leading autism treatment.

The State Health Plan Board of Trustees voted Friday to offer applied behavioral analysis to address the behavior problems that can come with autism spectrum disorder.

Coverage for the treatment will be provided for health plan members younger than 26 who are diagnosed by a licensed physician or clinical psychologist when it’s determined to be medically necessary. Treatment will be limited to $36,000 per benefit year and will be only available in-network.

The advocacy group Autism Speaks says 37 other states recognize the benefits of the autism treatment.

The health plan covers more than 670,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, legislators, university and community college workers, state hospital staff and their dependents.