Howrylak to insurers: mental health is as important as physical health

Categories: Howrylak News

State Rep. Martin Howrylak today introduced a measure preventing insurers from discriminating between coverage provided for mental illness and physical illness.

His proposal will amend the Nonprofit Health Care Corporation Reform Act and the Insurance Code Act to require insurers to offer the same coverage for mental health services as traditional medical care.

“There should be no question about the need to fully, consistently and adequately care for those in need of mental health services,” said Howrylak, of Troy. “I want to recognize the importance of removing the stigma behind mental illness, improving access to care and creating an atmosphere where people who are struggling feel comfortable seeking treatment and talking about their condition.”

The bill comes in the wake of the House bipartisan mental health task force, named for its commitment to community, access, resources, education and safety. Task force members traveled throughout the state to listen to mental health experts, families, law enforcement professionals, addiction specialists and more. The group compiled a report containing recommendations about how to improve Michigan’s broken health care system.

“Insurance coverage should never be the thing that prevents an individual from seeking mental health care,” Howrlak said. “Caring for the mind is as important as caring for the body and I have so much respect for those who seek out mental health care, and for the many professionals who have dedicated their careers to helping those in need.”

Other states such as Ohio, Indiana and Illinois have already successfully implemented similar mental health parity legislation.

Rep. Howrylak encourages any questions about this legislation to be directed to him at MartinHowrylak@house.MI.gov or (517) 373-1783.

House Bills 6190 and 6192 were referred to the House Health Policy Committee.

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