ACT NO. 25
Health Insurance; Mental Health
This act requires health insurance plans to provide coverage for the treatment of mental health conditions, and further requires that such coverage be provided with no greater financial burden than coverage for a physical health condition. Mental health conditions include alcohol or substance abuse as well as other mental illness. The act permits coverage to be provided through a managed care organization. To be eligible for coverage under the act, treatment must be
provided by a licensed or certified mental health professional or a qualified mental health facility (in the case of mental illness), or by a substance abuse counselor or approved program or institution (in the case of alcohol or substance abuse).
The act further requires a report to the General Assembly by the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration concerning an estimate of the cost impact of the act, actions taken by the Department to ensure compliance with the act, an analysis and comparison of the choice of plans offered by insurers to comply with this act, and an identification of populations excluded from the protections of the act, including employers contracting with the State of Vermont.
Effective Date: The act takes effect on passage (May 28, 1997). The insurance law provisions take effect as to health insurance plans subject to the act as such plans are offered or renewed on or after January 1, 1998.