Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 702 – State employee/mentally ill/insurnc
HOUSE BILL NO. 702
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STATE EMPLOYEES - MENTAL ILLNESS - INSURANCE - Adds to existing law to
provide that state employees with serious mental illnesses must not be
discriminated against in group disability insurance benefits or group
health care service coverages; to define "serious mental illness"; to
provide requirements for coverage of serious mental illness; to provide for
a report to the Legislature of additional costs incurred to provide the
coverage; and to provide a sunset date.
02/16 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/17 Rpt prt - to Bus
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-seventh Legislature Second Regular Session - 2004
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 702
BY BUSINESS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH PARITY IN STATE GROUP INSURANCE; STATING FINDINGS OF
3 THE LEGISLATURE; AMENDING CHAPTER 57, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDI-
4 TION OF A NEW SECTION 67-5761A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT STATE EMPLOY-
5 EES WITH SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESSES MUST NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN
6 GROUP DISABILITY INSURANCE BENEFITS OR GROUP HEALTH CARE SERVICE COVER-
7 AGES, TO DEFINE "SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS" AND TO PROVIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR
8 COVERAGE OF SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESSES; TO PROVIDE FOR A REPORT TO THE LEG-
9 ISLATURE OF THE ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED TO PROVIDE THE COVERAGE; AND TO
10 PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND A SUNSET DATE.
11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
12 SECTION 1. FINDINGS OF THE LEGISLATURE. The Legislature of the State of
13 Idaho finds that:
14 (1) Unequal health insurance coverage contributes to the destructive and
15 unfair stigmatization of persons with serious mental illnesses which are
16 beyond the control of the individuals in the same manner as cancer, diabetes
17 and other serious physical health problems;
18 (2) Schizophrenia strikes nearly one percent (1%) of Idahoans over the
19 course of their lifetimes and approximately thirty percent (30%) of all hospi-
20 talized psychiatric patients in the United States suffer from this most
21 disabling group of mental disorders;
22 (3) Left untreated, serious mental illnesses are some of the most
23 disabling and destructive illnesses afflicting Idahoans;
24 (4) Studies have found that up to ninety percent (90%) of all persons who
25 commit suicide suffer from a treatable serious mental illness, such as schizo-
26 phrenia, depression or manic-depressive illness;
27 (5) Seventy percent (70%) to eighty percent (80%) of those suffering from
28 depression respond quickly to treatment and eighty percent (80%) of the vic-
29 tims of schizophrenia can be relieved of acute symptoms with proper medica-
30 tion; and
31 (6) Approximately ninety-five percent (95%) of what is known about both
32 normal and abnormal functions of the brain has been learned in the past ten
33 (10) years, but millions of seriously mentally ill people have yet to benefit
34 from these research advances.
35 SECTION 2. That Chapter 57, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
36 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
37 ignated as Section 67-5761A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
38 67-5761A. MENTAL HEALTH PARITY IN STATE GROUP INSURANCE. (1) It is the
39 policy of the state of Idaho that state employees with serious mental ill-
40 nesses must not be discriminated against in group health care service cover-
41 ages. Such coverages must provide for the treatment of serious mental ill-
42 nesses in a manner that is equitable and commensurate with that provided for
1 other major physical illnesses.
2 (2) For the purposes of this section, "serious mental illness" means any
3 of the following psychiatric illnesses as defined by the American psychiatric
4 association in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM) IV:
5 (a) Schizophrenia;
6 (b) Paranoia and other psychotic disorders;
7 (c) Bipolar disorders (mixed, manic and depressive);
8 (d) Major depressive disorders (single episode or recurrent); and
9 (e) Schizo-affective disorders (bipolar or depressive).
10 (3) To be considered nondiscriminatory and equitable under this act,
11 group health care service coverages shall provide benefits and cover services
12 that are essential to the effective treatment of serious mental illnesses in a
13 manner that:
14 (a) Is not more restrictive than benefits and coverages provided for
15 other major illnesses;
16 (b) Provides adequate financial protection to the person requiring the
17 medical treatment for a serious mental illness; and
18 (c) Is consistent with effective and common methods of controlling health
19 care costs for other major illnesses.
20 SECTION 3. The Department of Administration shall submit a report to the
21 Legislature by January 31, 2009, indicating the additional costs incurred to
22 provide the coverage required by this act for the first three (3) year period
23 of coverage.
24 SECTION 4. This act shall be in full force and effect on and after July
25 1, 2005, and shall be null, void and of no force and effect on and after July
26 1, 2009.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation establishes parity for mental health in insurance
coverage for employees enrolled in the State Health Plan. It
requires that the Department of Administration submit a report
indicating cost during the first three years of coverage. The
program is designed to sunset after four years. This would allow
the Legislature to be more informed about the costs and benefits of
broader mental health parity policy developed in the future.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that parity
law will increase health insurance premiums by 0.9%. (Cost
Estimate for S543, Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act of 2001.
Washington, DC:CBO, August 22, 2001)
The second in a series of reports to Congress issued by the
National Advisory Mental Health Council found that full parity
costs less than one percent annual healthcare costs. When
implemented in conjunction with managed care, parity can reduce
costs by 30 to 50 percent.
Contact: Rep. Henbest
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 702