Senator Stavisky Calls Timothy's Law An Historic First Step For New Yorkers
State Senator Toby A. Stavisky (D-Flushing) today applauded the Senate's passage of a compromise mental health parity bill known as "Timothy's Law" and called it "a great first step towards true parity by giving families a much better ability to get their loved ones the critical care they need and deserve."
Senator Stavisky also praised her Democratic colleague, Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan), the ranking Democrat on the Senate's Mental Health Committee, for his tireless advocacy and near daily calls for the passage of Timothy's Law. "Senator Duane deserves much of the credit for getting any mental health parity passed. Without his efforts, we would never have passed this landmark legislation that requires insurance companies to cover mental health treatment on par with physical health treatment," Senator Stavisky said.
"With the passage of this bill, the glaring inequity between physical and mental health coverage that has plagued New York families for decades is finally over," Senator Stavisky continued. "The next step is full parity that includes coverage for mental illnesses related to substance abuse, addiction disorders and post-traumatic stress, all aspects advocates hoped to see included in the law.
"There is undeniable evidence that mental illness is widespread across our nation, but here in New York State, without mental health parity legislation, it often went untreated," Senator Stavisky said. "We know untreated mental illness is far more costly to society than the price of full mental health insurance."
Under the terms of the agreement, health insurance policies sold in New York State and not exempt under federal law would require:
-- insured persons to have a minimum of 20 outpatient visits for mental illness and 30
inpatient days a year
-- the state to pick up the extra cost of providing coverage for businesses with 50 or fewer
-- larger employers have to provide additional coverage for adults with biologically based
mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anorexia) as well as
conditions specifically related to children.