Last week, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the new Mental Health Care Service webpage on the Department of Financial Services (DFS) website, which aims to provide resources and assistance to mental health services for consumers.
This past legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that establishes new communication duties for health insurers and HMOs and creates reporting requirements for DFS. Mental illness affects millions of people in the United States each year. Nearly one in five adults live with a mental illness and an estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents aged 13-18 have a mental disorder. This service is aimed at better protecting policyholders and their insurers with mental health services.
“Mental health can be a sensitive and difficult topic to approach and I’m proud to provide Floridians with resources they need to seek vital treatment so they can live a healthier life. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, mental health challenges are on the rise nationwide, especially within our first responder and front-line healthcare communities. Thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for stressing the importance of mental health resources in our communities,” Patronis said.
State Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-St. Johns, championed the bill in the Legislature.
“I made it my mission this past legislative session to fight for Floridians and improve resources for individuals with mental health needs. With COVID-19 we saw a looming mental health crisis because of job losses, lockdowns and school closures, and that is one of the many reasons it is so critical that consumers have access to the mental health services they need when they need it. I was proud to sponsor HB 701, and I would like to thank my colleagues in the Legislature, Governor DeSantis, First Lady DeSantis and CFO Patronis for working together to ensure consumers receive a clear message when it comes to mental health care coverage,” Stevenson said last week.
The Mental Health Care Service website includes:
• Information on what insurance benefits are available in Florida
• Requirements for coverage by group health plans under Florida
• Information on the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
• Information on filing an appeal of a denied pre-authorization or claim
• A frequently asked questions page and consumer tips
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