New Attorney General Rob Bonta is taking a look at how various health plans in California are implementing federal and state parity laws. Recent letters to health plans begin as follows, “As the Attorney General, it is my job to protect the health and welfare of all Californians, including those suffering from mental illness. One out of every six Californians experience some type of mental illness. In 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) greatly expanded access to mental health treatment across the country. It did so by classifying certain mental health and substance use disorder services as “essential health benefits” for small group and individual plans and by prohibiting pre-existing condition bans. California’s laws, such as the recently signed SB 855, complement the ACA and further expand coverage of mental health and substance use disorder conditions, not only for individual and small group plans but large group plans as well.”
To read the full text of one of these letters, see here. Unfortunately, still no news on the soon to be released SB 855 regulations.