Legislators hail state mental health website

As members of the General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate committee, state Reps. Tony Hwang and David Rutigliano are hailing a new state website that streamlines resources to help families with insurance coverage and reimbursement for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.

The insurance department’s “Mental Health Parity” website is a compilation of free resources, publications and tools that consumers can easily access through ct.gov/cid/site/default.asp.

Both Hwang and Rutigliano worked in the Insurance Committee this past legislative session to bring better mental health parity and more protections for consumers.

“This legislation requires insurers to tell consumers how they came up with any decision to deny services and creates a more standardized criteria for determining what treatment qualifies as medically necessary,” Rutigliano said. “Adding this new level of transparency is key for families looking for services.”

“The goal of this web site will ease the many barriers families with mental health issues are forced to face on a daily basis navigating the health care insurance system,” Hwang said. “I have advocated on behalf of families to understand their rights as consumers and to make sure their mental illnesses and behavioral health concerns are treated the same way as other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.”

The new site includes the insurance department’s Behavioral Health Took Kit, a step-by-step plain-language template that families and providers can use to submit to insurance companies for pre-authorization of medically necessary behavioral health services. The tool kit was launched in October, the same time the state announced it was dedicating $9 million in federal funds to address the needs of children in schools.

For more information on the new website, visit ct.gov/cid/site/default.asp.

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