Senate Acts On “Timothy’s Law” To Provide Mental Health Parity

Thomas P. Morahan

March 26, 2009

Senator Thomas P. Morahan , Chairman of the Senate's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee announced that the New York State Senate today passed "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. The bill reflects an agreement with the State Assembly that was reached at the end of the regular legislative session.

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 Schnectady 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.