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Bipartisan bill ensures Michigan mental health insurance coverage

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(The Center Square) – Insurance coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatments is now law in Michigan after Republicans and Democrats came together on legislation.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 27 on Tuesday, requiring insurance companies to cover both issues to the same degree as medical coverage.

“Michiganders’ mental health is no less important than their physical health – no one should go without the care they need because they can’t afford it,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, said. “That’s why this bipartisan legislation requiring comprehensive insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services is so vital. I am grateful for my legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle and Gov. Whitmer for coming together to recognize the importance of mental health care coverage and delivering results for the people of our state.”

Inpatient, outpatient and emergency services, and prescribed medication all fall under the bill’s classification of treatment.

“Physical and mental health go hand in hand, and both are important for living a happy, healthy life,” Mike Harris, R-Waterford, Vice Chair of the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee, said. “This law will guarantee that health insurance coverage includes mental health care, so Michiganders can access critical services and treatments. Protecting holistic care will support healthy bodies and healthy minds.”

The content of the bill codified into state law the wording of the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addictions Act of 2008.

“The signage of Senate Bill 27 is a signal to all of us in this state that the tide is turning,” Marianne Huff, President and CEO of Mental Health Association of Michigan, said. “In other words, mental health and addiction treatment is viewed as being as vital as physical healthcare. There is understanding in 2024 that the brain, the mind and the body are a unified system.”

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