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How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost in Illinois?


Navigating the world of autism support can be challenging for families, especially when it comes to understanding the costs involved. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a leading treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder, renowned for its effectiveness in developing social, communication, and learning skills. However, the financial aspect of ABA therapy can vary significantly. In this post, we'll provide a clear breakdown of ABA therapy costs in Illinois and how insurance can help cover these expenses.

ABA Therapy Costs

The cost of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy can vary greatly depending on several factors including the provider's qualifications, the intensity of the therapy, and most importantly, insurance. Generally, ABA therapy costs around $120 per 1-hour session.

  • Per Hour: Typically, the hourly rate for ABA therapy can range from $120 to $250 without insurance.
  • Per Day: Assuming a rate of $150 per hour, a day of therapy (based on 5 hours) would cost about $750 without insurance.
  • Per Week: On a weekly basis, with 25 hours of therapy, the cost would be approximately $3,750 without insurance.
  • Per Month: On a monthly basis, assuming 4 weeks of therapy, this amounts to about $15,000 without insurance.
  • Per Year: Annually, this equates to a substantial investment of around $180,000 without insurance.

Obtaining an insurance plan that covers ABA therapy will drastically reduce your out-of-pocket expenses and the overall cost of therapy.

What Affects the Cost of ABA Therapy?

Several factors significantly influence the cost of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Here's a breakdown of the most important ones:

  • Intensity and Duration of Services: ABA therapy is often recommended to be intensive, involving multiple hours per week, and can extend over several years depending on the individual's needs. The number of therapy hours required per week can significantly impact the total cost.
  • Provider Qualifications: The level of training and experience of ABA therapists can affect the cost. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) typically charge more for their services compared to non-certified therapists due to their specialized training and certification.
  • Type of Therapy Setting: ABA services can be provided in various settings, including in-home, at school, or in a dedicated therapy center. Insurance works differently depending on the setting of therapy. For example, you might have a copay in one setting and a deductible in another.
  • Insurance Coverage: The extent of insurance coverage for ABA therapy can greatly affect out-of-pocket expenses for families. Some insurance plans cover a significant portion of the cost, while others may have limitations or not cover ABA therapy at all.
  • Individualized Treatment Plans: ABA therapy is tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual, which means the complexity and resources required for each treatment plan can vary. More complex or resource-intensive plans may be more costly.
What Affects the Cost of ABA Therapy

How to Pay for ABA Therapy in Illinois

Paying for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in Illinois can be managed through a variety of funding sources and strategies. Here are some common ABA financial assistance methods families use:

Insurance Coverage

Illinois mandates certain health insurance companies to cover ABA therapy for autism spectrum disorders. This includes many private insurance plans. It’s important to check with your insurance provider for specific coverage details, including copays, deductibles, and any limits on the number of covered therapy hours. At Rise Up for Autism, our dedicated billing department will conduct a benefit check to ensure ABA coverage and determine out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.


In Illinois, Medicaid very recently began covering ABA therapy for eligible individuals. However, there are a number of restrictions imposed under this plan, so be mindful that many ABA therapy centers do not accept Medicaid. At Rise Up for Autism, we can help you leverage the Affordable Care Act to purchase private insurance, and we offer numerous grants and payment plans to reduce costs.

School-Funded ABA Therapy

Some school districts may provide ABA therapy as part of an individualized education program (IEP) for qualifying students. This service is provided at no cost to the parents when deemed necessary for educational purposes.

Grants and Scholarships

Various organizations offer grants and scholarships specifically to help cover autism treatment. These can be a great resource for families needing financial assistance. Organizations like the Autism Hero Project, United Healthcare Children’s Foundation, HIPP, or local non-profits in Illinois may offer such financial support.

Payment Plans and Sliding Scales

Many ABA therapy providers in Illinois offer payment plans or sliding scale fees based on family income. This can make therapy more accessible by spreading out the financial burden over time or reducing it according to the family’s ability to pay.

Tax Credits and Deductions

Families can also benefit from federal and state tax provisions, such as the medical expense deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct certain medical expenses that exceed a specific percentage of their adjusted gross income.

Does Rise Up for Autism Accept My Insurance?

To determine whether Rise Up For Autism accepts your insurance to cover ABA therapy, we recommend contacting us directly or checking our list of insurance companies. We can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about their insurance partnerships and the coverage details specific to your insurance plan. We are also happy to discuss payment plans and other financial support.

How much does ABA therapy cost without insurance?

Without insurance, ABA therapy costs can range from $120 to $250 per hour. For intensive therapy, costs can accumulate to about $3,750 weekly or up to $15,000 monthly, making it a significant financial consideration for families. It is highly recommended to use a private insurance plan to access therapy to help reduce the burden of costs by trying to pay privately.

How much does ABA therapy cost with insurance?

With insurance, the cost of ABA therapy often depends on the specifics of the plan, such as deductibles and co-pays. While insurance can cover a substantial portion, families might still face out-of-pocket expenses.

How much does insurance pay for ABA therapy?

Insurance generally covers a significant portion of ABA therapy, subject to plan details. Coverage usually includes the majority of the therapy costs, minus deductibles and co-pays, potentially saving families tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Is ABA therapy worth the cost?

ABA treatment is widely regarded as a valuable investment for individuals with autism, providing significant improvements in communication, social skills, and overall behavior. Despite the high cost, many families and studies report meaningful progress, making it a worthwhile expense for long-term developmental gains.

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