Advocacy E-News June 9, 2017
June 9, 2017
BILL TO ENHANCE ENFORCEMENT AND OVERSIGHT OF MENTAL HEALTH PARITY APPROVED BY ASSEMBLY
Legislation to expand health insurance coverage for behavioral health care services and enhance enforcement and oversight of mental health parity was approved Thursday by the General Assembly. The bill (A-4498) would require plans to provide coverage for medically necessary behavioral health care services and to meet the requirements of a 2008 federal law, which prevents certain health insurers that provide mental or substance use disorder benefits form imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits that on medical or surgical benefits, commonly referred to as mental health parity.
BILLS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES GAIN ASSEMBLY APPROVAL
The Assembly on Thursday approved two bills to significantly improve New Jersey’s approach to behavioral health crisis care by expanding services and access throughout the state. The bills include:
A-4468 Expands the Early Intervention Support Services (EISS) Programs, currently available in 11 counties to provide for one program in each county.
A-4469 Provides for the Commissioner of Human Services to accept an application from a screening service to provide expanded mental health services. The expanded services would include establishing a satellite program to provide services that emphasize outreach and early intervention.
N.J. TARGETS NEPOTISM, HIGH SALARIES AT SCHOOLS FOR THE DISABLED
New Jersey is clamping down on private schools that serve disabled students four years after a Star-Ledger investigation revealed numerous cases of nepotism and questionable spending paid for by taxpayers. The move comes despite heavy opposition from the schools, which charge steep tuition from public schools to teach severely disabled students traditional schools can’t serve.
CONCERNS ABOUT PTSD AMID RISE IN NJ POLICE SUICIDES
Surveys conducted in various parts of the country show an average of 15 percent of police officers suffering from PTSD. It is a condition that some experts said could be contributing to an alarming statistic in New Jersey: a 67 percent increase in police suicides over the past couple of years. A total of 35 police suicides were reported in 2015 and 2016, compared to the 21 suicides recorded during the two prior years, according to the state’s Policemen’s Benevolent Association.