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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2020 10:44 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation regarding Addiction Equity
Enforcement of the Federal Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 is an on-going struggle for many Pennsylvanians. Most people have coverage for addiction treatment through assorted health plans. However, access to the addiction treatment benefit has been difficult for many desperate families.

Individuals unable to access addiction treatment have already paid for this coverage through premiums and other sources. What can occur is that costs are shifted to limited public funding, to jails and to hospital emergency rooms. For our constituents in need of addiction treatment, enforcement of the health care laws, including MHPAEA, is a critically important issue.

I will be introducing two separate pieces of legislation designed to assist the mission of ensuring access to treatment in the middle of this major epidemic. Please consider cosponsoring these bills:

Legislative Proposal #1
Require all health plans operating in Pennsylvania, to send out a one page notice to all subscribers explaining the addiction treatment coverage in the plan and how to access it. To ensure clarity for the consumers, the materials should be reviewed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Insurance Department/Bureau of Consumer Services and other addiction treatment programs.

Legislative Proposal #2
Require each health plan operating in our Commonwealth, to publish and widely distribute an annual report including data such as the number of people provided addiction treatment, average length of stay in treatment for each level of care including detoxification, rehabilitation and outpatient services, comparisons to similar data from publicly-funded addiction treatment, outcome measures, and other appropriate data.