State seeks consumer complaints about denials of mental health and/or drug treatment by insurance companies...
By Claire Hughes
Albany Times Union
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
ALBANY - New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is actively seeking complaints from New Yorkers facing barriers from their insurance carriers for coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The Attorney General's Office is expected on Wednesday to issue an alert offering assistance to state residents who believe their insurance carriers are breaking a law that requires coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment on par with other medical coverage. The law, known as Timothy's Law, was enacted in 2006.
One goal of seeking information from New Yorkers is to monitor insurance companies' compliance with the 9-year-old law, according to Nicholas Benson, a spokesman for Schneiderman.
To complain about insurance coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment, call the Attorney General Health Care Helpline: 1-800-428-9071.
Over the past two years, the Attorney General's Office has signed agreements with five insurance companies, including Schenectady-based MVP Health Care, after determining they were not complying with state and federal mental health parity laws. The attorney general's investigation into MVP found that between 2009 and 2014, the insurance company denied 47 percent of its members' claims for inpatient substance abuse treatment, more than double the plan's denial rate for inpatient claims for medical services.
- Will NY Set A Trend For Mental Health Parity Enforcement?, Law360, 5/21/2014
- ValueOptions to Pay $900,000 to Settle Wrongful Denial Case, Corporate Crime News, 3/5/2015
- EmblemHealth Pays $1.2M To Settle NY Mental Health Probe. Law360, 7/9/2014
- Timothy's Law nonprofit website about NYS Parity laws