Legislation Signed into Law


Primary Focus The new law expands MH/SUD coverage using a primary care behavioral health model. In addition, the new law expands parity requirements to Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA’s) and Public Employee Benefit Plans to comply with the MT Mental Health Parity Act.
Title/Description An act revising the mental health parity act to include coverage of services provided through the psychiatric collaborative care model

Amends Sections MT Code Annotated:  MT Mental Health Parity Act: 33-22-702 and 33-22-705; and Grievance Procedures 33-35-306.  See also 2-18-704.


The new supplemental law expands the parity law to cover the psychiatric collaborative care model also referred to as the primary care behavioral health model and adds MH/SUD coverage to MEWAs and state benefit plans.  The former provides an opportunity for behavioral healthcare services to be accessed through a primary care physician.

Effective Date January 1, 2020

Enacted through SB 217; signed by the Governor on April 22, 2021

Primary Focus Requires identification of Nonquantitative treatment limitations and parity compliance reporting
Title/Description Parity Compliance and Reporting (no formal title for SB 216)

MT Mental Health Parity Act 33-22-702;  and Enforcement 33-35-306


Reinforces the requirement for most health plans to comply with the MH/SUD parity analysis requirements as established by the Federal Parity Law and expands on several definitions related to MH/SUD services.

Effective Date To be established by the insurance commission (likely on or before April 1, 2022

Enacted by MT SB 216; signed by the Governor on April 30, 2021


Primary Focus Mandated Benefit: Peer Support
Title/Description Peer Support Specialist Medicaid Coverage
Citation MCA §53-6-101
Summary Amends MCA §53-6-101 to make services provided by behavioral health peer support specialists eligible for Medicaid coverage.
Effective Date 7/1/2019

Enacted through S30


Primary Focus Access to Services
Title/Description Coverage for services provided under freedom of choice for mental health services.
Citation 33-30-1020, MCA
Summary Group and individual insurance contracts shall provide coverage for health services provided by marriage and family therapists.
Effective Date 1/1/2019

Enacted by Mt. HB 469.

Primary Focus Access to Services
Title/Description Policies and certificates to provide for freedom of choice of practitioners — professional practice not enlarged.
Citation 33-22-111, MCA

All policies or certificates of disability insurance, including individual, group, and blanket policies or certificates, must provide that the insured has full freedom of choice in the selection of any psychologist, licensed social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed addiction counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist for treatment of any illness or injury within the scope and limitations of the person’s practice.

Effective Date 1/1/2019

Amended by Mt. HB 469.

HB 142
Introduced 1/2017
Sponsor Rep. Bishop
Status Signed into Law 5/2017

Among other things, this bill changed the sections of the state’s insurance law related to behavioral health coverage:

  • It specifies that individual plans, small-group plans, and large-group plans should provide coverage for mental health conditions and substance use disorders in a way that is “no less favorable” than coverage for other medical conditions
  • It defines “no less favorable” as being what is specified in the Federal Parity Law and its final regulations on January 1, 2017, thereby maintaining parity protection in the individual and small-group market no matter what happens with efforts to amend the Affordable Care Act
  • It repeals the standalone section specifying certain coverage levels for serious mental illness and incorporates those conditions into the section regarding other mental illness and substance use disorders
  • It eliminates multiple restrictive annual and lifetime maximums alongs with limits on inpatient days and partial hospitalization


Primary Focus Access to Services
Title/Description Coverage for telemedicine services.
Citation 33-22-138, MCA

Each group or individual policy, certificate of disability insurance, subscriber contract, membership contract, or health care services agreement that provides coverage for health care services must provide coverage for health care services provided by a health care provider or health care facility by means of telemedicine if the services are otherwise covered by the policy, certificate, contract, or agreement, including mental health centers.

Effective Date 4/5/2013

Amended by Mt. SB 270.


SB 234
Sponsor Sen. Gillan
Status Signed into Law 4/2009
Summary Among other things, this bill added the autism section to the state’s insurance law. This section of the law is summarized at the bottom of this page.

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