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AG Nessel Praises House Passage of SB 27, for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Parity

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praised today’s passage of Senate Bill 27 in the Michigan House of Representatives by a vote of 93-12. The bill amends the insurance code to provide for parity of coverage of treatment for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD).  

“Michigan residents need legislation like Senate Bill 27 to require health insurers to provide parity in their coverage for substance use disorder and mental health treatments, the same as they cover similar medical benefits,” Nessel said. “We can strengthen the federal requirements by installing a state-level mandate and at the same time close loopholes that allow insurers to evade their responsibilities to consumers. A patient’s need for treatment of substance use disorder, or any other mental health needs can be every bit as acute, urgent, and vital to a patient’s well-being as any other medical intervention. As we combat the opioid epidemic across the State, we must ensure Michigan residents have access to all the health treatment services they require. I applaud the House for recognizing this and passing this much-need legislation.” 

While federal law does require insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders to be substantially the same and no more restrictive than medical or surgical benefits, it contains loopholes that permit insurers to avoid covering mental health and SUD treatments, and Michigan has no complimentary state-level law. SB 27 accomplishes parity by requiring insurers to provide these benefits in substantially the same manner and in the same classification as medical and surgical benefits. 

The Attorney General submitted a letter in support of SB 27 (PDF) earlier this year.    



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