Below is the relevant legislation related to parity that has been introduced during the current or recently adjourned legislative session. State parity legislation passed in any state since 2008 is usually designed to increase compliance with the federal law and to strengthen state laws.
Regular Session: Convened 1/14/2019 Will adjourn: 4/23/2019 Governor’s deadline: 5/16/2019
SB 5782 Introduced: 2/2017 Sponsor: Sens. Rivers and Mullet Status: Died in committee Summary: This bill amends state insurance law by restricting step therapy for medications for the treatment of mental illness for individual plans, group plans, public employee plans, and Medicaid. These plans must immediately cover a prescribed drug after demonstration of or providers proof of past demonstration of a failed first attempt treatment of the same drug or a drug in the same pharmacologic class, with failure being determined by the prescribing practitioner.
SB 6494/HB 2439 Introduced: 2/2016 Sponsor: Sens. Darneille, Frockt, Rivers, O’Ban, Conway, Carlyle, Rolfes, Keiser, McAuliffe, and Hasegawa and Reps. Kagi, Walsh, M., Senn, Johnson, Orwall, Dent, McBride, Reykdal, Jinkins, Tharinger, Fey, Tarleton, Stanford, Springer, Frame, Kilduff, Sells, Bergquist, Goodman Status: Dead 3/2016 Summary: This bill established the children’s mental health work group to identify barriers to children’s access to mental health services, including identification, diagnosis, treatment, billing, workforce, and treatment standards, and advise the legislature with recommendations.
Additionally, the bill requires the state Medicaid agency to report to the legislature data related to network adequacy and access to services. The bill also requires the joint legislative audit and review committee to conduct an inventory of mental health service models used by schools, schools. Finally, the bill , subject to the availability of funding, would require Medicaid to cover provider payment and universal screening for depression of children aged 11 to 21.HB 2339 Introduced: 1/2016 Sponsor: Rep. Moeller and Rep. Appleton Status: Dead 3/2016 Summary: This bill tried to change the sections of state law relevant to parity so that they would no longer exclude coverage of residential treatment for mental health conditions.
Insurance plans can review a child’s treatment plan once every 12 months.
Treatment for autism is defined as behavioral health treatment (includes applied behavior analysis), pharmacy care, psychiatric care, psychological care, and therapeutic care. These are all defined in detail within the bill.
Autism is defined as any of the pervasive developmental disorders in the DSM including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.
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