Bill seeks to improve federal mental health care parity laws

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and four Democratic colleagues are pushing legislation that would help patients receive mental health care coverage.

Warren said the bill introduced Monday would strengthen accountability for insurers by requiring them to disclose to federal regulators how they make coverage decisions and the rate of and reasons for denials of mental health claims.

It would also require regulators to conduct random audits of health plans and make the results public.

Federal laws require that insurance coverage for mental health care be equal to physical health care coverage.

The legislation is similar to a bill filed in the U.S. House by Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy.

Fellow Democratic Sens. Al Franken, of Minnesota, Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and Tammy Baldwin, of Wisconsin, support the bill.