More than one million Coloradans experience mental health or a substance use crisis each year
(Apr. 5) – The House Public Health Care and Human Services committee passed legislation 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.
“Kids as young as nine and ten are attempting suicide. This issue isn’t going away until we address it,” said Rep. Cutter, D-Evergreen. “Over one million Coloradans deal with a mental health issue, and over half of them aren’t getting the help they need. Imagine what the world would be like if your friends and family dealing with these issues were able to get the help they need.”
- 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
“This is something I’ve been involved in for the last six years and I am glad to be a part of this legislation,” said Rep. Sullivan, D-Centennial. “We know that recently a student from Cherry Creek high school died by suicide. This is not something we can wait on, we need to take action 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 was unanimously approved by the House Public Health Care and Human Services committee. It now heads to the Appropriations committee.