Washington, D.C., February 27, 2020 – Today, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that settlements were reached with five health insurance companies and two companies that manage mental health coverage for insurers based on state investigations into mental health parity violations. In response, former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, lead author of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law) and founder of The Kennedy Forum, said the following:
I applaud Attorney General Maura Healey for holding these insurers and administrators accountable for parity violations. For far too long, insurers have been able to make their own rules about covering mental health and addiction treatment without recourse. Such illegal practices of conspiring to deny care have undoubtedly contributed to historic rates of overdoses and suicides that continue to devastate families nationwide.
Other states and the federal government must follow Massachusetts’ lead in demanding that insurers end discriminatory practices against those with mental health and substance use disorders. When they do, we will finally be able to stop the insufficient reimbursement rates that are making it nearly impossible for people to find providers in-network. We all have a role to play in addressing the U.S. mental health crisis. Today, you are seeing true progress.
About Patrick J. Kennedy
Former U.S. Rep. (D-R.I.) is founder of The Kennedy Forum, co-founder of One Mind, and co-chair of Mental Health for US, a nonpartisan initiative designed to elevate mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle. In 2017, he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
About The Kennedy Forum
Founded in 2013 by former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, The Kennedy Forum leads a national dialogue on transforming the health care system by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation of the Federal Parity Law. Launched in celebration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the landmark Community Mental Health Act, the nonprofit aims to achieve health equity by advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming around mental health and addiction. The Kennedy Forum’s “Don’t Deny Me” campaign educates consumers and providers about patient rights under the Federal Parity Law and connects them