March 2, 2018: Public Hearing on Mental Health Parity legislation on Tuesday, March 6 at noon. Your voices are needed at this important hearing!
AN ACT CONCERNING MENTAL HEALTH PARITY, DATA REPORTED BY MANAGED CARE ORGANIZATIONS AND THE ALL-PAYER CLAIMS DATABASE (SB 384)
To expand mental health parity requirements, require that health carriers report additional data to the Insurance Department, and require that the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange submit a report to the General Assembly regarding the all-payer claims database.
Your voice is needed now to help state lawmakers better understand the challenges experienced accessing mental healthcare. Tell your story, in writing or in person, but make sure they hear from you! The Connecticut General Assembly’s Insurance Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. Click here for a testimony template, and tips on composing your testimony.
WHY THIS BILL IS IMPORTANT
Many people in Connecticut continue to have difficulty accessing mental health care. Despite parity laws, many insurance companies reimburse mental health providers at lower rates and the process is cumbersome. There are fewer in-network psychiatrists and therapists who accept insurance, and as a result many people are forced to turn to higher cost out-of-network providers—or they choose not to seek treatment at all.
NAMI Fairfield worked closely with Representative Kupchick, a co-sponsor of this Bill, to identify areas for new legislation. For more background and information about why this Bill is needed please see NAMI Fairfield’s paper that identifies problems and proposes recommendations to address these areas.
HOW THIS BILL WILL IMPROVE PARITY
- Require health insurance companies to:
- to report data on adverse determinations (denied care) and the appeal rates for such denials
- to report details about how many in-network behavioral health providers and facilities are available for their members
- disclose their provider utilization rates
- to identify and explain what factors impede access to treatment of substance abuse
- Require individual health insurance policies to provide coverage for mental health screening at any annual physical exam conducted by a licensed physician
- Expand the CT Insurance Department’s evaluation of how behavioral health services are accessed
HOW AND WHERE TO TESTIFY
The Insurance and Real Estate Committee’s public hearing on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 12:00 PM in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building (LOB). The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. The Public will likely begin testifying around 1:00 PM.
NAMI CT is available to help submit your testimony! Send NAMI CT your written testimony by noon on Monday, March 5th and they will make 25 copies and submit your testimony for the legislators. If you plan to provide oral testimony then let them know this too, as NAMI CT will enter your name on the sign-up list for you.
You may also submit your testimony by emailing it (Word or PDF) to INStestimony@cga.ct.gov by Monday evening. That way it will be processed, likely added to the CGA website, and available for the committee to review prior to the hearing. This can help inform committee members with any questions they may want to ask during the hearing.
If you miss Monday’s deadlines then you can sign-up for the hearing yourself on March 6th beginning at 10:00 AM in Room 2800 of the LOB. Please also submit 25 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff by 10:00 AM in Room 2800 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.