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State Senate passes legislation for substance use disorders to get insurance parity

Posted 21 June 2018 at 11:39 am

Press Release, State Senator Rob Ortt

State Sen. Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) and his colleagues on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 1156C, which would require insurance providers and health plans to file reports illustrating their compliance with state and federal mental health and substance abuse parity laws.

Currently, federal and state law require mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) to be insured on par with more traditional illnesses, however, recent court cases have demonstrated that these parity standards are not being met.

“This legislation would increase transparency in the medical insurance field and allow consumers to see that they are being treated fairly in regard to medical coverage,” said Sen. Rob Ortt. “Ensuring New Yorkers have equal access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment is critical, especially with the ever-increasing numbers of communities, families, and individuals impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic across our state. I’m proud my Senate colleagues and I have led the way in making sure New Yorkers with mental health and substance use disorders are treated just as fairly as those with more traditional illnesses.”

The Senate on Tuesday also passed legislation, which revised Timothy’s Law and ensured those suffering from substance use disorders are included in the state’s mental health and parity laws. This legislation (S1156C) has also passed the Assembly.

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