December 07, 2006

Ohio Senate Backs Coverage for Mental Illnesses

After 18 years of advocacy, a mental-health parity bill in Ohio is on the brink of becoming a reality before the year's end. The Ohio Senate passed a mental-health parity bill requiring some Ohio health-care plans to offer the same coverage for psychiatric illnesses as they do for non-psychiatric illnesses. The House is expected to approve the bill within the next two weeks, making Ohio the 38th state to enact mental-health parity.

Advocates for the state's approximately 500,000 residents affected with mental illness had argued for years,

"It's unfair for health-insurance plans to offer less coverage for a mental illness such as schizophrenia than a physical malady such as Parkinson's disease, even though each is related to unusual levels of dopamine in the brain."

Those against the bill state that adding equal coverage for mental illnesses will cause undue hardship for small businesses and is contrary to the principle of trying to contain health-care costs.

Read the article in The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) December 6, 2006 newspaper: Senate backs mental-illness coverage

Read more about this battle for mental health parity in Ohio: Insurance Parity and Family Education


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