The Kennedy Forum’s Parity Efforts Progress in Illinois and California | The Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum’s Parity Efforts Progress in Illinois and California
February 2, 2023

The Illinois Department of Insurance fined Quartz Health Insurance Corporation $500,000 for violating the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This comes after the after the $1.25 million fine The Department levied against Celtic Insurance, a subsidiary of Centene in November 2022 and $2 million in fines it levied against five insurers in 2020.

Illinois’ increased enforcement of the Federal Parity Act is the result of Illinois’enactmentof The Kennedy Forum’sModel State Parity Legislation, an effort led by David Lloyd, The Kennedy Forum’s Chief Policy Officer, in 2018. These model requirements are now in place in nearly half of all states and have led to increased enforcement actions across the country.

Illinois Governor Pritzker remarked, “The $500,000 fine signifies our ongoing commitment to protect Illinoisans’ rights to equitable healthcare coverage and our intent to hold companies accountable when they violate state and federal laws protecting those rights.”

Read the State of Illinois’ full release here.

Last week, The Kennedy Forum, along with 15 partner organizations, submitted comprehensive comments to California’s Department of Managed Health Care on proposed rules that implement Senate Bill 855. This landmark law, which The Kennedy Forum and Steinberg Institute led in 2020, has put in place nation-leading standards for mental health and addiction coverage, which require insurers to cover all medically necessary services, follow generally accepted standards when making medical necessity determinations, and arrange out-of-network services when care is not available in-network.
The California law resulted in the creation of the Ramstad Model Legislation, key components of which have been signed into law in Illinois, Oregon, and Georgia. Our comments support important aspects of the proposed rules, while recommending a number of changes to further improve access to care and ensure the rules fully reflect the enacted law.. Read our comments here.

On Thursday, January 26, the three-judge Panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released a new ruling in the landmark Wit v United Behavioral Health case. We are reviewing the ruling and will provide updates accordingly. Visit our website for background on this case which has implications for the quality and access of mental health and addiction care across the country.