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MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER PARITY
SB 855 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) will bring California into conformance with federal parity laws by mandating that private health insurance companies include mental health and substance use disorder services on a comparable level to all other covered health care services. Further, it closes gaps in current parity law that have allowed these companies to deny coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
The bill significantly expands what treatments are considered medically necessary for health insurance coverage, to include a much broader array of mental health issues as well as adding coverage for SUD and addiction treatment.
The need for more and better mental health and addiction treatment has been amplified by the traumatic events of recent months. California will no longer allow the private sector to get away with denying the treatment people need and shifting costs onto the public sector.
During his campaign for Governor, Gavin Newsom posted a letter detailing the importance of behavioral health reform, specifying: “We need stricter enforcement of mental health parity laws.” If Governor Newsom signs SB 855 into law, California will become the nation’s leader on mental health and addiction coverage.
- SB 855 will bring California into conformance with federal parity laws by mandating health insurance companies include mental health and substance use disorder services on a comparable level to all other covered health care services.
- SB 855 will increase access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care for the 13.4 million Californians enrolled in state-regulated plans who too often have coverage arbitrarily and wrongfully denied by insurers.
- By putting in place common-sense rules that require insurers to follow generally accepted standards of mental health and substance use disorder care, SB 855 will significantly reduce inappropriate denials of care and increase access to early treatment.
- I support SB 855 and request your signature.
PEER SUPPORT SPECIALISTS
SB 803 (Beall, D-San Jose) creates a state certification program for mental health and substance use disorder care providers known as Peer Support Specialists (PSS). CAADPE has long supported the need for and certification of Peer Support Specialists as an essential part of the SUD workforce.
Be a Digital Advocate
It only takes a few clicks!
Follow these simple steps.
- Go to www.sen.ca.gov and click on the Senators tab.
- Click on roster to find your senator or if you do not know your senator, click Find My Senator.
- Once you find your senator, click on the tab Homepage,
- Click Contact (the icon is usually at far right) and follow the instructions to send an e-mail.
- Enter your name, address, and other requested information.
- Under Select an Issue, scroll down to the issue you want to address.
- Check Support in the circle provided.
- In the comment section, a short simple statement to convey your support is all that is needed (messages can be up to 200 characters).
- Register your support through the Assembly Health Committee’s portal. Your comments can be as simple as “I support (number of bill) because it will help to assure access to appropriate substance use disorder treatment.”
- If you or your treatment agency is a constituent of a member of the Assembly Health Committee, contact him/her through their website to voice your support. The members of the Assembly Health Committee can be found here and you can link into their websites from there.
Go to the Governor’s contact page.
Fill out name, email.
Please choose your subject, click on drop down menu in the window and scroll down to the desired bill.
Click on Continue button
Specify your Position (pro or con)
Leave your message. You can use messages from samples on this page or cut and paste your own letter into this space.