Kelly fights for mental health, substance abuse care access

A bipartisan group of legislators, led by state Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21), state Reps. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford) and Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield), and state Sen. Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), have begun the fight to increase access to care for mental health and substance use.
The legislators, joined by former congressman and nationally renowned mental health advocate Patrick J. Kennedy, announced this major legislation on mental health and substance use on Tuesday, March 6.
The legislation, House Bill 7125, requires insurance companies to submit annual reports concerning parity for mental health and substance use disorder, requires health insurance coverage for prescription drugs prescribed for the treatment of substance use disorders and requires health insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment regardless of whether such services were provided pursuant to a court order. If passed, it would be one of the strongest mental health parity laws in the nation.
“Connecticut needs to do more to remove barriers to care for those with addiction and mental health issues,” said Kelly, the Insurance Committee’s ranking member. “I am glad to see strong bipartisan support to address these issues and make treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders more accessible.
“Last year, the Connecticut Senate passed an extremely strong bipartisan mental health parity law, but unfortunately it did not make it through both chambers,” added Kelly. “This year, I hope to see our efforts put a bill on the governor’s desk that achieves the parity all people deserve.”