I am writing today to give you an update on the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s latest step in ensuring that mental health parity is a reality in our state.
As you know, OIC issued updated rules regarding mental health parity in 2014. At that time, our office asked the issuers to review their disapproved mental health claims , from the time of our state’s mental health parity law, to see if there were any blanket exclusions made, and directed the issuers to rectify any such disapprovals. During that same time, OIC reviewed mental health complaints through that same lens: were there any blanket denials?
The attached letter deals with one such denial: the blanket exclusion of residential services for mental health treatment. The letter goes on to cite both our state’s mental health parity law, which took effect in 2006, and the 2008 federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), and the final MHPAEA rules issued in 2013.
The need for better access to mental health treatment continues to be a priority public policy issue in Washington State and we here at OIC will continue to do our part ! Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the attached letter.
Policy and Legislative Affairs Division
Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
360-725-7101 | LonnieJ@oic.wa.gov
PO Box 40255
Olympia, WA 98504-0255