More than one million Coloradans experience mental health or a substance use crisis each year
(Apr. 29) – A bill sponsored by Rep. Lisa Cutter. and Rep. Tom Sullivan that will modernize behavioral health insurance coverage laws to align with federal law and close loopholes to increase access to mental health services for Coloradans is heading to the Governor’s desk.
“More than one million Coloradans live with a mental health issue, and over half of them aren’t receiving the help they need,” said Rep. Cutter, D-Evergreen. “It is essential that we begin to treat mental health and substance abuse issues the same way we treat physical health. Our youth suicide rate isn’t going to improve until we do.”
- Strengthens prevention and screening laws to shift the current system away from expensive late-stage treatment to early prevention
- Enforces and makes transparent existing state and federal parity laws and increases consumer protections
- Eliminates gaps and loopholes in current law to ensure no more Coloradans fall through the cracks
“I have been committed to improving mental health before joining the legislature and am glad to be a part of this important legislation,” said Rep. Sullivan, D-Centennial. “We can’t wait any longer to get this bill to the Governor. The time for action is now.”
Currently, state and federal laws require insurance carriers to provide equal coverage for mental health and physical care. However, many families are being denied coverage or are paying out-of-pocket costs for weeks or months for mental health care services because of loopholes in current law.
HB19-1269 passed in the House with a bipartisan vote of 45-19. It passed in the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 30-5.