Behavioral Health Treatment
Medi-Cal covers all medically necessary behavioral health treatment (BHT) for eligible beneficiaries under 21 years of age. This may include children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as children for whom a physician or psychologist determines it is medically necessary. Consistent with state and federal requirements, a physician or a psychologist must recommend BHT services as medically necessary based on whether BHT services will correct or ameliorate any physical and/or behavioral conditions.
BHT services include applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and a variety of other behavioral interventions that have been identified as evidence-based approaches that prevent or minimize the adverse effects of behaviors that interfere with learning and social interaction, and promote, to the maximum extent practicable, the functioning of a beneficiary, including those with or without ASD.
Examples of BHT services include behavioral interventions, cognitive behavioral intervention, comprehensive behavioral treatment, language training, modeling, natural teaching strategies, parent/guardian training, peer training, pivotal response training, schedules, scripting, self-management, social skills package, and story-based interventions.
Beneficiaries in a Medi-Cal managed care plan receive BHT services from their plan (MCP). For more information, please see the Managed Care Health Plan Directory
for contact information.
For questions regarding BHT, please contact DHCS-Benefits@dhcs.ca.gov.