New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan, Chairman of the Senate's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee today urged Governor Pataki to sign "Timothy’s Law," legislation to provide parity in insurance coverage for mental illnesses. The legislation would require insurance companies to cover most mental illnesses and would require coverage for a broad range of mental illnesses and conditions specifically related to children. Yesterday, the State Assembly joined the State Senate in passing the landmark legislation.
For more than four years advocates have pushed for passage of Timothy's Law, insurance parity-legislation named for 12-year-old Timothy O'Clair, a Schenectady boy who committed suicide in 2001. His parents had sought help for their son, but quickly ran into barriers. Those barriers were the limits on coverage under insurance policies for mental health and substance abuse services.
"The State Legislature's passage of "Timothy's Law," represents a vital step in providing mental services for individuals with mental illnesses. I want to commend the many mental health advocates and caring New Yorkers who worked so hard to ensure passage of this important legislation.which provides coverage for biologically based mental illnesses, as well as a broader range of coverage for children," said Senator Morahan.