Ohio Bill Would Require Insurers To Follow Federal Law On Mental Healthcare

Dec 10, 2019

Federal law mandates insurers treat mental health services like they would physical health care. But the sponsors of a new bill in the Ohio Legislature say that’s not happening. 

Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) says insurance companies are finding ways to get around the federal law that mandates they cover mental and behavioral health and physical health equally.

“We’ve got a large number of individuals who are being forced to go out of network instead of in network for behavioral health services or they are paying a lot more out of pocket," Russo says.

Russo says Ohio and other states that lack a statewide law find insurance companies are able to evade the federal law more easily. The bill, which would require insurers follow the federal law, has bipartisan support.

Earlier this year, Gov. Mike DeWine cited mental and behavioral health parity as a key part of tackling Ohio’s opioid crisis.