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Russo Introduces Bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

December 9, 2019
C. Allison Russo News

State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today announced the introduction of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, bipartisan legislation with Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) that would align Ohio’s mental health parity laws with current federal law; raise awareness amongst individuals, families, and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the law; and facilitate greater implementation and enforcement.

“Despite more than a decade of federal requirements, true parity between medical and behavioral health benefits does not yet exist in Ohio,” said Rep. Russo. “We must close these coverage gaps so that Ohio can better fight the addiction crisis and patients can access needed mental health and addiction care they are legally eligible to receive.”

Recent data suggests that Ohio insurers may not be covering mental health to the levels required by federal law—contracting with fewer providers and paying them relatively less. Mental health parity was identified as a top priority in the March 2019 report issued by Governor DeWine’s Recovery Ohio Advisory Council.