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Key Victories:  Ohio and New York Pass Mental Health Parity

January 2, 2007

New York and Ohio have now passed Mental Health Parity laws, expanding mental health insurance coverage in both states. 

In Ohio, coverage for the "diagnosis, care and treatment of biologically based mental illnesses" was written into the new state law SB 116.  This law was signed on December 29, 2006 and will take effect in 90 days.  Read more about Ohio's parity law in The Plain Dealer (opens in a new browser window).

Ohio Governor Robert Taft Signing the Ohio Parity Law

Ohio Governor Robert Taft Signing the Ohio Parity Law on 12/29/06 -- accompanied by NAMI Ohio Executive Director Jim Mauro, former NAMI Executive Director Terry Russell and Ohio Mental Health Commissioner Mike Hogan. Also present is Blair Young from the NAMI Walks staff.

In New York, Governor George Pataki signed the Mental Health Parity bill, which will require health care policies written in the state to provide mental health coverage.  Pataki said he made the decision to sign the legislation on Dec. 22, in part because the Legislature has allocated some $50 million for employers with 50 or fewer employees to pay for the new mandate.  Pataki said his office found many employers are already providing some mental health coverage.  Read more about the New York parity law from The Journal News (opens in a new window).

These two states bring the number of states who have some form of Parity law up to 42.

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