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CHG employee shares how autism coverage has impacted her family

A key component of CHG’s putting people first culture is a focus on feedback. Employees are regularly encouraged to weigh in on their experience at CHG and the organization works to make changes based on that input.

One important piece feedback came from MaShel West, an employee in the Salt Lake City office. Her story was recently featured in the Deseret News. MaShel’s son, Lucas, has autism.  Lucas participated in early intervention programs but a program called applied behavioral analysis, or ABA, was not an option.

Despite the program’s promise, MaShel’s insurance didn’t cover ABA. The out-of-pocket expense  of more than $3,000 a month was out of the question for her family.

Leaving the parking lot at work one day, MaShel met CHG CEO Scott Beck and Kevin Ricklefs, then senior vice president of talent management. After an emotional explanation of her situation, MaShel convinced them to investigate adding ABA therapy.

“Prior to that, we had other people that had kids on the (autism) spectrum also, but you just never heard about it,” Ricklefs said. “So it kind of brought it to the forefront, at least in my mind. It just allowed us to begin exploring what should we do as an organization.”

The company ended up adding ABA to its health plan and giving MaShel and Lucas the help they needed. Fellow employee Braden Blackham is also grateful for that decision. Blackham is part of a network of CHG parents who, like MaShel, have children with autism. He says to access the treatment and know it is covered is huge.

Read the full story here.

Watch the video here.

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