|TO:||Commercial Health Insurers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Health Maintenance Organizations accredited pursuant to M.G.L. c. 176O|
|FROM:||Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health|
Marylou Sudders, Commissioner of Mental Health
Linda Ruthardt, Commissioner of Insurance
|DATE:||February 15, 2002|
|RE:||Mental Health Benefits|
This bulletin is being sent jointly by the Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health and the Division of Insurance to remind carriers of their obligations to provide coverage for appropriate behavioral health services to all insureds consistent with the requirements set forth in Massachusetts law, including Chapter 80 of the Acts of 2000 (" mental health parity "). Carriers contracting with another entity (sometimes referred to as a "carve-out" or "rented network") for the administration or provision of behavioral health services remain responsible for: (1) ensuring that services provided or coordinated by such entity comply with the provisions of all relevant statutes; and (2) taking steps to coordinate care.
|Division of Insurance Bulletin No. 2000-06 explained Mental Health Parity and mandated mental health services and providers. This serves as a further reminder that carriers must provide adequate access to behavioral health services as required by the Mental Health Parity and managed care laws.|
|For carriers that provide benefits through a network or through participating providers, adequate access means at a minimum that:|
|Additionally, in order to demonstrate good faith compliance with the mental health parity and managed care laws, each carrier should have working procedures in place to:|
|Please note that all licensees will be tested for compliance under the accreditation standards of 211 CMR 52.00 et seq. and other relevant law, including but not limited to the Mental Health Parity law.|
|If you have any questions about this Bulletin, please call Kevin Beagan, Director of the Bureau of Managed Care, at (617) 521-7347.|
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