"http://www.stamfordplus.com/stm/information/nws1/publish/News_1/index.shtml - News</head> : Health Published: May 20, 2019 - 10:11:31 PM

CT House passes major mental health insurance bill

By Connecticut House Democrats

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Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), House chairman of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, led the House Monday in a unanimous vote to approve legislation mandating insurance coverage for mental health and treatment of substance abuse.

The legislation requires insurance companies to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment at the same level as physical health. The bill also requires insurance companies to submit documentation each March to the Insurance Commissioner certifying whether they are complying with parity.

“No one in Connecticut should be discriminated against because they have a disease of the brain versus a disease of the body,” Scanlon said. “I’m so proud to have led the bipartisan and unanimous passage of this important bill to ensure equal access to care for all in our state.”

Scanlon wrote House Bill 7125, An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits, and introduced it in his committee. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Along with former Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. and Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield), Scanlon introduced similar legislation in 2018 in response to a December 2017 study by Milliman Co., an independent consultant, that showed Connecticut was the worst state in the nation when it came to parity compliance.

Milliman’s report showed that 34 percent of mental health office visits were considered “out of network” compared to only 3 percent for medical office visits.

“The Milliman report was a shocking call to action for those of us who care about access to mental health services and today’s vote is a giant step in the direction of ending discrimination toward and stigmatization of mental health and ensuring that everyone can get the treatment they deserve,” Scanlon said.

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