Just Heard: Equal access
It took 10 years to pass and five years to enact, but on July 1 Washington state’s mental health parity law went into effect.
The law prohibits health insurance plans from discriminating against people with mental illness by guaranteeing them as much treatment as their plan would allow for a physical ailment, at a comparable cost. That means insurers can no longer charge higher co-pays or deductibles for mental health treatment or must remove caps on outpatient mental health visits or inpatient hospital stays.
“As a consumer of mental health services for almost 33 years, I believe our law is a powerful step towards reducing the stigma associated with these illnesses,” Randy Revelle, former King County executive and chair of the Washington Coalition for Health Parity, said in a statement. “The law makes sure people who are experiencing a mental illness can get access to the services they need”
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