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Legislation Signed into Law

2018

Primary Focus: Mental Health Awareness and Assistance
Title/Description: Continuing education and inservice training for youth mental health awareness and assistance.
Citation: FLA. STAT. § 1012.584
Summary: Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the Department of Education shall establish an evidence-based youth mental health awareness and assistance training program to help school personnel identify and understand the signs of emotional disturbance, mental illness, and substance abuse disorders and provide such personnel with the skills to help a person who is developing or experiencing an emotional disturbance, mental health, or substance use problem.
Effective Date: Approved by the Governor March 9, 2018.
Notes: This law was included as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act from Senate Bill 7026 passed by the Florida 2018 Legislature.

2016

HB 221
Introduced: 9/2015
Sponsor: Rep. Trujillo
Status: Signed into Law 4/2016
Summary: Among many other things, this bill changed the sections of state law about autism coverage so that Down Syndrome is now an included condition (the relevant sections are summarized at the bottom of this page).

Florida Parity Law

The sections of Florida law relevant to parity are found in the state’s Insurance Law. There is a section for mental health coverage, a section for substance use disorder coverage, and two identical sections for autism coverage (one section is for large employer health maintenance contracts, and the other section is for other large employer fully-insured plans ).

Mental Health Coverage

This section requires small employer fully-insured plans and large to offer optional coverage for mental health treatment. If an employer chooses this optional coverage, the following is required:

Substance Use Disorder Coverage

This section requires small employer fully-insured plans and large to offer optional coverage for substance use disorder treatment. If an employer chooses this optional coverage, the following is required:

This section clearly states that detoxification is not considered outpatient care.

Autism Coverage

The sections of the law about autism require large employer fully-insured plans to cover autism services for children under age 18 as long as the child was diagnosed with a developmental disability before age 8. Autism spectrum disorder is defined as these 3 conditions:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger’s disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified

There is an annual maximum of $36,000 and a lifetime maximum of $200,000. However, these can be adjusted each year for inflation.

Financial requirements for autism services may not be “less favorable” than those in place for other medical services.

Required treatments include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and applied behavior analysis.

Get Support

Florida Insurance Division

Common Violations

In seeking care or services, be aware of the common ways parity rights can be violated.

Common Violations

Definition

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