Connecticut House passes mental health parity bill

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Connecticut’s House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation ensuring health insurers treat mental health illnesses the same as other illnesses.

Monday’s bill, which awaits Senate action, requires insurers to cover mental health and substance disorder treatment at the same level as physical health. The bill also requires insurance companies to submit documentation annually to prove they’re complying with the legislation.

Former Democratic Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy appeared at the state Capitol in March, urging Connecticut lawmakers to pass the bill. The mental health advocate called it a “modern day civil rights bill for those with brain illness.”

Democratic Rep. Sean Scanlon of Guilford, the bill’s proponent, says he’s proud of Monday’s vote. He noted a 2017 study that showed Connecticut had the worst parity compliance in the nation.

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