Assemblymember Bronson’s Legislation Requiring Coverage for Mental Health Services Passes Assembly

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that a bill he authored to expand coverage of mental health services passed the Assembly. The legislation mandates that blanket health insurance policies provide coverage for outpatient treatment from licensed mental health practitioners (A.6376-A).

“Until now there has been a serious gap in mental health services coverage,” said Bronson. “This legislation ensures all New Yorkers have access to the services they need and deserve and puts our health and well-being first.”

Signed into law in 2007, Timothy’s Law requires that insurance companies provide comparable coverage for mental health services as they do for any other medical condition. Because current law does not explicitly include mental health practitioners as allowable health care providers, insurers regularly deny this type of care.

Bronson’s legislation requires insurers to reimburse mental health practitioners, such as marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, mental health counselors and psychoanalysts, who are licensed through the New York State Education Department. People living in rural areas will especially benefit from this coverage because of their otherwise limited options for care, Bronson noted.