|Targeted News Service|
Measure Would Ensure Care for Variety of Mental Illnesses & Addictions By a vote of 51-20-3, the full Assembly on Thursday granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats
The measure (A-1665) would expand mental health insurance coverage by requiring the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and the School Employees' Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) to provide coverage for non-biologically based mental health disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
"Mental illness and substance abuse can affect the entire spectrum of a person's life, from their interpersonal relationships, to their ability to obtain employment, and even their disposition towards violence," said Vainieri Huttle (D-
The bill would also require the SHBP and the SEHBP to broaden coverage for substance abuse treatment to include inpatient programs, outpatient care, detoxification and treatment by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional.
"We must require insurers to provide coverage to individuals suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism" said Diegnan (D-
"For individuals suffering from mental illness, access to the proper medical care is a necessity and should not be treated as a luxury," said Gusciora (D-
The measure now heads to the Governor's desk for consideration.
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