For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 14th 2020
Press Statement from Health Care For All's Executive Director Amy Rosenthal Regarding Passage of Senate Mental Health ABC Act
"Health Care For All (HCFA) applauds the Senate for passing a bill that will improve access to mental health care for individuals and families across the Commonwealth. While Massachusetts has made great strides in expanding health coverage, many consumers still face barriers to accessing the care they need. This is especially true for behavioral health care. The Senate bill seeks to address these barriers through several levers, including enhancing health insurance coverage and parity provisions, building the workforce, and increasing access for especially underserved populations.
"HCFA is particularly appreciative of the inclusion of provisions that strengthen oversight and enforcement of mental health parity laws to ensure that health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use care is equal to coverage for other medical services. The final bill also includes language to consider additional screening tools to aid in prevention and early intervention as well as improved protocols aimed at finding inpatient placements for children in crisis sooner.
"HCFA thanks Senate President Karen Spilka, Senator Julian Cyr, Senator Cindy Friedman and Senator Michael Rodrigues for their leadership in advancing legislation focused on addressing barriers to mental health care. We look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to promote policies that ensure coverage and access for all."