Call to Action — MassAHU Opposes SB2416

| January 5, 2015

The MA House is preparing to pass a bill that would add educational psychologists to the list of mental health professionals covered by the mental health parity law, blurring the line between what has been traditionally covered by health insurance and services that are primarily educational in nature and raising health insurance premiums disproportionally for fully insured businesses. MassAHU opposes SB 2416.

Please take a minute to call your House Leadership to urge them NOT to support this bill:

Speaker DeLeo: 617-722-2500
Chairman Dempsey: 617-722-2990
Leader Mariano: 617-722-2300
Minority Leader Brad Jones: 617-722-2100

FIVE POINTS to make with the House Leadership:

  • We oppose Senate Bill 2416 and do not believe the bill should be passed in informal session. The bill  would shift the cost of educational services provided in the schools onto health coverage, blurring the line between what has been traditionally covered by health insurance and services that are primarily educational in nature. This will increase the cost of health care for employers.
  • A 2005 state review of the bill noted that ‘it is not hard to imagine that some schools might come to rely on privately insured families to obtain the help their children need through their insurance rather than through the school.”
  • A 2014 state review of the bill noted that the opportunity to shift services currently funded by school systems to the health insurance system might exist and estimated that the bill would increase the cost of coverage be as much as $8.8 million a year.
  • If there is going to be a change in the Commonwealth to shift services that are educational in nature from the schools to private insurance, there should be an in-depth analysis and a data driven process to determine the scope of these services.

Rather than passing the bill in informal session, providers, educators, health plans, and business groups should be brought together to examine the issue, where gaps in services may exist and the potential impact on the cost of coverage.

 

Category: Consumer & Industry News

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