Support Increasing Access to Life-saving Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Care in NYS

The undersigned advocates, providers, friends and families thank the legislature for passing S. 4808/A. 2904 to prohibit prior authorization of Medication Assisted Treatment by commercial insurance companies. This legislation is critical to ensuring people with Substance Use Disorders can access life-saving medication without unnecessary delay. This reform is an excellent follow up to the groundbreaking Behavioral Health Insurance Parity Reforms (BHIPR) enacted this spring that will remove numerous insurance barriers to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Mental Health (MH) care and treatment. The New York State [email protected] coalition is grateful to have been a partner in that effort that will ensure New York continues to be a national leader in removing barriers to treatment. We urge the Senate and Assembly to continue the momentum by passing additional legislation that will increase access to insurance coverage for life-saving Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Mental Health (MH) care and treatment.

  • Enact A. 7246A/S. 5935 to ban Medicaid from engaging in prior authorization of all FDA approved forms of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Currently in New York State Medicaid (Fee for Service and Managed Care), only the preferred forms of Buprenorphine and Naltrexone are available without prior authorization. The ban on prior authorizations should be extended to all FDA approved forms in Medicaid to ensure individuals can access their life-saving treatment without unnecessary and burdensome delays.

 

  • Enact A. 7566/S. 5426 to mandate commercial insurance coverage of peer support services provided by Certified Peer Recovery Advocates in substance use disorder treatment programs. Peer supports are a vital service for individuals with substance use disorder and, in fact, are required services in all OASAS certified treatment programs. Currently in New York State, coverage of peer services is only required under Medicaid, not commercial insurance. Therefore, individuals with commercial insurance may not be able to benefit from the services peers provide. Everybody, no matter how they are insured, should have the opportunity to receive the vital support that only someone with lived experience can provide.

 

  • Enact A. 972A/S. 4643A to prohibit commercial insurance plans from requiring co-payments for visit to an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP). Commercial insurance plans currently require co-pays to be collected each time a patient visits an OTP to receive methadone treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Although methadone is proven to be an effective treatment, individuals with private insurance cannot access it due to the high cost of copays that add up quickly because patients are mandated to visit an OTP up to 6 times per week during their first 90 days of treatment. This legislation will ensure that patients can receive the life-saving treatment they need.

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Steven Bellamy, Q.V.C.M.H. For J-CAP, Inc.
Glendaliz Camacho, Individual
Diana Duenne-Sonnega, UCCHealth
Jacqueline Filis, Individual
Matthew T. Gissen, Behavioral Health Consultants
Bradley Hansen, Families Together in New York State
Timothy Holler, Individual
Christine Kajetzke, Park Slope Center for Mental Health
Jacquelyn Kilmer, Harlem United
Glenn Liebman, Mental Health Association in New York State
Hope Mathis, Individual
Joyce Mitchell, Loyola Recovery Foundation
Kelly O’Neill, Individual
Claudine Riedinger, 820 River St. Inc. The Baywood Center
Kelly Sabatino, Community Healthcare Network
Allegra Schorr, COMPA
Jason Stevens, Community Access
Jeanette Toledo, Howie the Harp Advocacy Training
Joseph Turner, Exponents
Allison Weingarten, Friends of Recovery – New York
Bill Williams, Where There’s a Will Fund

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