Last week the Senate passed legislation that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both. One day after the Senate approved the bill (S 558), the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health approved the House version (HR 1424) of mental health parity legislation. There are a few differences between the House and Senate bills. Most notably is the House legislation includes a broader definition of conditions that insurers would be required to cover. The Senate legislation is a little more vague, it seems their bill leaves it up to the insurance companies to decide what is covered. Under the House version, the policy would go into effect Jan. 1, 2008, while the Senate bill states that it would begin one year after it becomes law.
Click here to read my previous blog on the House version. And you can read the side-by-side comparison of the two bills here. Of course, they’re both better than what we have today. If only someone would introduce a bill that will reimburse the mentally ill the money we have paid out of our pockets for years. Take action to see change! Write your local congress members and the president. You’ll find their email addresses here.