Enforcing Mental Health and Substance Use Parity Laws

MHAMD and partners are urging the General Assembly to pass legislation this year that would strengthen parity compliance reporting requirements for health insurance companies (carriers) and increase the Maryland Insurance Administration’s (MIA) parity enforcement authority.

HB 1074/SB 684 and HB 1085 would implement recommendations from the MIA’s 2023 Interim Report on Nonquantitative Treatment Limitations and Data, which found carriers’ required parity compliance reports to be “uniformly and significantly inadequate, impeding the ability to reach parity determinations.”

It has been 30 years since Maryland passed the first state mental health parity law in the nation and 15 years since passage of the federal Parity Act, but discriminatory practices and failure among payers to comply with statutory requirements continue unabated while the unmet demand for mental health and substance use care continues to increase. With these bills the General Assembly can take a significant step toward ensuring the appropriate implementation and enforcement of these critical anti-discrimination laws.

The House Health and Government Operations Committee held an initial public hearing on these bills last week. The Senate Finance Committee has a hearing scheduled tomorrow.

MHAMD 2024 Legislative Briefing and Reception

Thank you to everyone who came together to make the MHAMD 2024 Legislative Briefing and Reception such a special event. Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller for sharing your personal experience with mental health and how it has shaped your work, and thank you to our panel of leaders from Maryland’s child-serving agencies—Special Secretary Carmel Martin of the Governor’s Office for ChildrenSecretary of Health Laura Herrera ScottSecretary of Juvenile Services Vincent Schiraldi, and Secretary of Human Services Rafael Lopez.

And a true heartfelt thanks to the youth, families, caregivers and partners who participated in the filming of MHAMD’s Youth Voices Short Film.

Click on this link or the image above to view a video featuring the short film, Lt. Governor Miller’s comments, and the full panel discussion.

This Week in Annapolis

MHAMD will provide testimony this week on the following bills. Click here to see our full updated bill list, including links to our written testimony.

SB 974/HB 933 MHAMD supports this bill providing funding to support and sustain Maryland’s 988 suicide and crisis prevention lifeline.

SB 905 MHAMD supports this bill authorizing researchers to review court records related to extreme risk protective orders.

SB 492 MHAMD supports this bill requiring private spaces for students participating in telehealth appointments during the school day.

SB 1080 MHAMD supports this bill increasing wages for staff at RICA Rockville and RICA Baltimore.

HB 1096 MHAMD supports this bill authorizing the establishment of six overdose prevention sites across Maryland.

HB 1134 MHAMD supports this bill expanding the list of authorized accrediting bodies for Maryland residential treatment centers.

Further information about the material above is available on the Maryland General Assembly website.


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