Posted on March 6, 2019 by jdooley
A bipartisan group of legislators led by Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield), Sen. Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) and Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and joined by former congressman and nationally renowned mental health advocate Patrick J. Kennedy on Tuesday announced major legislation on mental health and substance use.
The legislation, House Bill 7125, requires insurance companies to submit annual reports concerning parity for mental health and substance use disorder, requires health insurance coverage for prescription drugs prescribed for the treatment of substance use disorders and requires health insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment regardless of whether such services were provided pursuant to a court order. If passed, it would be one of the strongest mental health parity laws in the nation.
“The unfortunate truth is that if someone has a substantial or serious physical health issue, such as a heart ailment they are treated without delay in the state of Connecticut, but if that same individual has a mental health issue, they are left running around in a maze of bureaucracies trying to get the help they need,” Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R, 132nd District, Fairfield/Southport) said. “That is just not acceptable. Connecticut needs to do a better job. Let’s work together to finally make this bill the new reality.”
“With the passage of HB 7125, Connecticut can become a national leader in ending insurer discrimination against those with mental health and substance use disorders,” said Patrick J. Kennedy, a former Rhode Island congressman and founder of the Kennedy Forum.
“More than 10 years after I led passage of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, states must finally hold health plans accountable and demand full disclosure of treatment limitations and medical necessity criteria to force plans to prove equal coverage of mental health and addiction treatment services,” said Kennedy, who is also co-founder of One Mind; commissioner of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
“HB 7125 will save lives by expanding access to care. I thank Rep. Sean Scanlon for his leadership on this vital legislation,” Kennedy said.…