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Rep. Russo's bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act passes House as an amendment, advances to governor's desk

December 2, 2020
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today announced the passage of major portions of her bipartisan House Bill (HB) 443, also known as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, as an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 284.  

“Despite more than a decade of federal requirements, true parity between medical and behavioral health benefits does not yet exist in Ohio,” said Rep. Russo.  “We must close these coverage gaps so that Ohio can better fight the addiction crisis and patients can access needed mental health and addiction care they are legally eligible to receive.”

Recent data suggests that Ohio insurers may not be covering mental health to the levels required by federal law—contracting with fewer providers and paying them relatively less.  Mental health parity was identified as a top priority in the March 2019 report issued by Governor DeWine’s Recovery Ohio Advisory Council.

The portions of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act included in SB 284 would:

  • Align Ohio’s mental health parity laws with current federal law; 
  • Facilitate greater implementation and proactive enforcement by the Superintendent of Insurance and Medicaid Director.  

SB 284 now makes its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.¿¿¿