While ABA therapy is a highly effective treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it can be expensive. For those families that qualify, Medicaid can be a great option to help cover some or all the costs of services. However, navigating the Medicaid claims process can be complicated and time-consuming. In this blog post, we will explore the process of filing claims with Medicaid for ABA services.

Understanding Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for eligible individuals with low income or disabilities. Each state has its own Medicaid program, but it must follow certain federal guidelines. Medicaid covers a range of healthcare services, including ABA services.


Eligibility for Medicaid varies by state and is typically based on income and household size. In many states, income limits are higher or disregarded for children with autism and other disabilities. To find out more about the qualification standards for Medicaid, you can check your state’s Medicaid website or contact your local Medicaid office.

Medicaid Coverage for ABA Services

Each state’s Medicaid program may have different requirements for coverage of ABA services, so it is important to check your state’s guidelines. In general, Medicaid may cover ABA services if it is:


    • Medically necessary: A referring healthcare provider must determine that ABA services are necessary to lessen or improve the impact caused by the individual’s diagnosis.

    • Consistent with the individual’s treatment plan: ABA services must be part of an individualized treatment plan developed by a healthcare provider.

    • Provided by a qualified provider: The ABA provider must be licensed or certified to provide ABA services within their scope of practice.
Filing medicaid ABA claims with CR Essentials

Filing Claims with Medicaid for ABA Services

Filing claims with Medicaid for ABA services can be a complex and time-consuming process. The following steps can help simplify the process:


Step 1: Verify Medicaid Coverage

Before beginning ABA services, it is important to verify that Medicaid will cover the services. You can check your state’s Medicaid website or contact your local Medicaid office to find out what ABA services are covered and what documentation is required to file a claim.


Step 2: Obtain Prior Authorization

Prior authorization is required before Medicaid will cover ABA services. This means that a provider must submit a request to Medicaid to obtain approval for the services. The provider must provide documentation to support the medical necessity of the services.


Step 3: Develop an Individualized Treatment Plan

An individualized treatment plan must be developed by the ABA provider before ABA services can begin. The plan should outline the individual’s areas of need, measurable goals of the therapy, the specific services that will be provided, the expected outcomes, and transition and discharge criteria. The treatment plan must be consistent with Medicaid guidelines and include documentation to support the medical necessity of the services.


Step 4: Provide ABA Services

Once the prior authorization and individualized treatment plan have been obtained, ABA services can begin. The provider must document all services provided, including the date and duration of service, the type of service, and specific information regarding the services rendered and the individual’s response to care.


Step 5: Submit Claims for Reimbursement

After ABA services have been provided, the provider must submit a claim for reimbursement.

Streamline Medicaid Billing with CentralReach Essentials

If you serve Medicaid clients, you are likely well aware of the billing complexities. Make it easier for your team to complete Medicaid-specific workflows and file claims with CentalReach Essentials. CR Essentials is designed to make scheduling, completing, and billing for Medicaid sessions a breeze.

Learn about the many ways CR Essentials can make it easier for your team to work with Medicaid as a payer.