Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Timothy's Law

New York health insurance companies have always drawn a line between physical and mental disorders, covering fewer expenses for patients suffering from severe depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

That began to change when Timothy O’Clair, a resident of Schenectady, committed suicide only seven weeks before his 13th birthday.

Now, with ‘‘Timothy’s Law’’ having passed the state Senate two weeks ago, many health insurance providers will soon be forbidden to make that distinction again.

One would think the MHPA would have already addressed this issue, but apparently the NY Senate disagrees. Perhaps it is because of this exemptive language.

MHPA does not apply to a group health plan or group health insurance coverage if the application of the parity provisions results in an increase in the cost under the plan or coverage of at least one percent

The NY law does not appear to have this exemption.

One wonders what the financial impact will be on the cost of health insurance once providers are given access to unlimited funds for treating mental illness.
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