State Reps. Arbit, Brabec, Coffia, Mentzer introduce legislation cutting red tape for mental health providers, ensure insurance providers’ compliance with federal mental health parity laws
LANSING, Mich. — State Representatives Noah Arbit (D-West Bloomfield), Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield), Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City), and Denise Mentzer (D-Mount Clemens) unveiled the “Advancing MI Mental Health” legislative package.
Part of House Democrats’ broader efforts to address Michigan’s mental health crisis, the “Advancing MI Mental Health” package seeks to increase access to care by cutting red tape encountered by many mental and behavioral health practitioners in applying to join insurance network panels (HBs 5343-44). Additionally, “Advancing MI Mental Health” assists the State of Michigan in monitoring health insurers’ compliance with federal laws mandating coverage parity for mental and behavioral health services (HBs 5345-47).
“No issue is more pressing than ensuring every Michigander has access to mental health care,” said Representative Arbit, Vice Chair of the House Subcommittee on Behavioral Health and sponsor of HBs 5343 and 5345. “Our “Advancing MI Mental Health” package will help put Michigan on a path to becoming a place where kids, seniors, and everyone in-between has access to vital mental health care, and I am honored to work with Representatives Brabec, Coffia, and Mentzer to pass this vital legislation.”
“Ensuring timely access to mental health care is not just a matter of policy, but a lifeline for our communities. That’s why we’re putting a clock on insurance companies and requiring a 60-day response to mental health paneling applications,” said Representative Brabec, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Behavioral Health and sponsor of HB 5344. “With the introduction of this legislation, we are pledging our commitment to making mental health care more accessible so that every Michigander can access the vital care they deserve.”
“By allowing the state to review mental health coverage reports that are already required by the federal government, Michigan will be able to partner with and assist insurers to ensure that their coverage costs are in compliance with federal parity standards, which will ultimately benefit those receiving mental health services,” said Representative Coffia, sponsor of HB 5346. “These bills represent a win for both insurers and patients.”
“Michiganders struggling with mental health issues deserve access to appropriate treatment through their health insurance. These bills help insurers remain in compliance with existing health parity regulations by allowing the state to review their federally required mental health coverage analysis. Formalizing the process established in federal parity law will help ensure mental health services are available to those in need,” said Representative Mentzer, sponsor of HB 5347.
HBs 5343-5347 will be referred to the Health Policy Subcommittee on Behavioral Health.
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