SB 855 / Parity 

Biden Administration Announces New Rule Aimed at Ensuring Parity in Mental Health Care Coverage

CNN reports, “President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced new action to guarantee access to mental health care, unveiling a proposed rule that would ensure mental health benefits on private insurance plans more closely mirror physical health benefits.

The proposed rule would reinforce 2008’s Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) by requiring insurance providers to update health plans “to make sure people have equivalent access between their mental health and medical benefits,” according to an administration fact sheet shared with CNN ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.

During an event at the White House, Biden said the moves “represent a real step forward to help millions of people get mental health care they need and that insurance should be providing.”

“Folks, you know, I don’t know what the difference is between breaking your arm and having a mental breakdown is – it’s health, there’s no distinction. It’s health,” Biden said. “You know, we can all agree, mental health care is health care. It is health care, it’s essential to people’s well-being and their ability to lead a full and productive life, to find joy, to find purpose, to take care of themselves and their loved ones. It’s about dignity.” Read more

Joint Letter to Newsom Administration and Legislative Leadership 

CSAP, along with several other organizations, sent a joint letter to the Newsom Administration and legislative leadership expressing concerns and opposition to amendments to SB 855 to allow the use of criteria developed by for-profit entities. You may view the letter here

Comment Letter to DMHC

CSAP, with others, has also sent a letter to DMHC commenting on the Department’s revised proposed regulations dated July 14, 2023, to implement SB 855. You may view the letter here. There are rumors of a third comment period, which would be unfortunate. We will keep you posted.

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