Item # 6 Applied Behavioral Analysis

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John Michael Cortez
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:15 pm

Item # 6 Applied Behavioral Analysis

Post by John Michael Cortez » Thu May 14, 2015 9:15 am

Mayor Adler asked that this language related to item #6 be posted this morning:

Be It Further RESOLVED, the Austin City Council, in adopting the policy that Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) benefits shall be provided to city employees and their families as part of the city’s health insurance coverage, hereby directs the City Manager to identify various ABA coverage levels and their associated costs, and present these options, including a staff recommended level of coverage, to the Council during the Fiscal Year 2015/16 budget development process.
Chief of Staff
Office of the Mayor

Don Zimmerman
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:05 am

Re: Item # 6 Applied Behavioral Analysis

Post by Don Zimmerman » Thu May 14, 2015 9:39 am

After receiving communications to this effect from the Austin Firefighters Association, CM Zimmerman is also suggesting an amendment to the originally posted language:

...should be provided for City employees and their families WITH THE COST 100% FINANCED BY THE EMPLOYEE CHOOSING THIS ADDITIONAL COVERAGE, and the City Manager is directed...

Here is the communication:
Dear Councilmember,

The Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) is in support of 5/14/2015 Austin City Council agenda item number 6 which directs the City Manager to incorporate Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) benefits as part of the City employee benefits package in the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 proposed budget at a level that is similar to the coverage required of “health benefit plans” that are regulated by Section 1355 of the Texas Insurance Code, and could consider a cap of 680 hours of ABA therapy annually.

The benefits of the ABA program are clear and this is absolutely the right thing to do to better support our families who are supporting those diagnosed with autism.

AFA recommends that the cost of this benefit is 100% financed by the employee. This action will make it cost neutral to the city budget, therefore, should be easier for the Council to approve. The Employee Benefits Advisory Committee should be directed by the City Manager to include the ABA benefit into the plan for FY 2016 employee health insurance package. If including this benefit becomes cost prohibited the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee should provide a detailed report back to the City Manager asking for further direction.

The Applied Behavioral Analysis treatment is an important benefit that should be included in the upcoming FY 2016 employee health insurance package, but the costs of this program must be quantified by the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee and any additional cost for this benefit should be borne by the employee.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Bob Nicks
President, Austin Firefighters Association
Don Zimmerman
Council Member District 6 (northwest Austin)