Carpino & Cook Champion Step Therapy Override Mechanism

Posted on May 5, 2023


Hartford – The House of Representatives recently acted on H.B. 6831 An Act Concerning the Override of Step Therapy for Certain Mental Health Conditions and Establishing a Task Force to Study Data Collection Efforts Regarding Step Therapy. State Representatives Christie Carpino (R-Cromwell) and Michelle Cook (D-Torrington) introduced this concept as a bipartisan solution to a problem that plagues those with serious mental health disorders.


“This policy puts the needs of patients first and foremost. Mental health needs are real and this bill will grant greater access to medications for some of our residents with the most significant needs. Accessing the most appropriate medication -quickly-can have a dramatic impact on the road to better health.  Rep. Michelle Cook and I have advocated for this bill on behalf of many that are unable to come to Hartford and tell their stories,” said Rep. Carpino.


According to the language of the bill, there will be a new requirement for insurers to educate providers about the process to override step therapy – or fail first protocols. The bill also requires the automatic override of the step therapy process for various medications prescribed to help treat patients with schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder within 24 hours after a request is made.


“The state of mental health is at the forefront of societal issues facing the country and I am in full support of measures to help people access indispensable medications that alleviate various conditions and symptoms,” Rep. Cook said. “I am grateful to work closely with Rep. Carpino on this important legislation.”


The bill establishes a “Step Therapy Task Force” to further examine step therapy practices and produce additional legislative recommendations.


After short discussion, the bill received unanimous support in the House. It now goes to the Senate and awaits further action. It must be approved by Wednesday, June 7, to become state law.