Mental Health Parity
Federal Mental Health Parity Act
The Mental Health Parity Act, signed into law in 1996, provides that employer group health plans and health insurance issuers, insurance companies and managed care organizations offering mental health benefits will not be allowed to set annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits that are lower than any such dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits. To learn more about this law, please view this section.
New York State's Mental Health Parity Act: Timothy's Law
New Yorkers with group insurance health coverage may enjoy access to improved mental health benefits due to legislation that went into effect in 2007. Chapter 748 of the Laws of 2006, or Timothy's Law, was named after a young boy, Timothy O'Clair, whose parents were unable to access adequate health insurance coverage to treat his mental illness. The new law requires coverage for inpatient and outpatient mental health services. The following summarizes some of the key provisions of the law. To learn about this law, please view this section.
State Laws Mandating or Regulating Mental Health Benefits
Mental health services have been one significant part of medical care for a number of years. However, the costs, coverage and availability of such services have been the object of policy discussions and a variety of state legislation. For a summary of the laws in every jurisdiction, as well as the impact of the recently enacted federal law, visit this Web site provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.