Insurance Parity Legislation Passes Important Vote in Ohio Senate
> 12/7/2006 2:52:17 PM

This week, the Ohio State Senate passed a powerful bill that would ensure parity of coverage for mental health claims to those with health insurance in the state. Passing by a wide margin of 26 – 5, the Senate has sent a message to the Ohio State House that the time has come for this long debated bill to become the law of the land. As the AP noted, one of the bill’s strongest advocates has witnessed first hand the effects of depression, and it shaped his view on the issue of parity. From the AP’s story:

Sen. Bob Spada, the bill's sponsor, argued that both individual employers and the state would ultimately save money by providing quality health care to those with mental illness - including his own son, who has suffered from depression - rather than waiting to hospitalize or institutionalize its sufferers. He noted that 36 other states have passed something similar.

In the grand scheme of mental health treatment, Ohio has been a leader. When the National Alliance on Mental Illness released their “Grading the States” report for 2006, Ohio was one of only five states to receive a B rating, the highest attained by any state. In NAMI's recommendations, which the group made for each state, one of the only suggestions for Ohio was that parity legislation be passed. With that on its way to a reality, Ohio has positioned itself to be the nation’s leader in mental health coverage, advocacy and treatment. Their actions can now hopefully serve as a model to other states that are looking to improve their own systems, and make sure that those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, disordered eating and other disorders from across the spectrum of mental health receive the care that they need and deserve.

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