May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Colorado Division of Insurance launches new resource - “Mental / Behavioral Health and Insurance.”.
DENVER (May 1, 2020) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), is kicking off a month-long campaign to educate people about mental and behavioral health parity.
In conjunction with this campaign, the DOI is highlighting its new online resource, “Mental / Behavioral Health and Insurance.” This site is a resource for Coloradans who run into health insurance roadblocks in accessing mental / behavioral health services or having those services limited in some way by their insurance companies.
"Mental and behavioral health is always key to people’s wellbeing,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “But currently, that need is heightened by what we’re experiencing during the COVID-19 emergency. Economic and employment concerns, worries about how the virus could impact one’s family and friends and a general sense of anxiety each time we read the news all reinforce the importance of mental and behavioral health services in the coming weeks, months and years.”
Mental Health Parity
The “Mental / Behavioral Health and Insurance” site is particularly focused on parity in mental / behavioral health services. What does parity mean? Federal and Colorado State parity laws prohibit health insurance plans from being more restrictive in providing mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder benefits than they would be for medical and surgical benefits. Parity is about equal and fair treatment for people who need mental and behavioral health care.
The site has six sections to help consumers understand their rights under health insurance parity laws, know when those rights may have been violated and where to turn for help and assistance when that happens.
- What is Mental Health Parity?
- Is your health insurance required to provide Mental Health Parity?
- How is Mental Health Parity enforced?
- Red Flags for Potential Parity Violations
- Have you been unfairly denied mental / behavioral health benefits?
- Additional Resources
Mental Health Awareness Month
Throughout May, the Division will focus on specific aspects of the intersection of mental / behavioral health and insurance in its messaging through DORA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. We will also highlight various Colorado partners and resources working on improving access to mental / behavioral health. Please share, comment or ask questions as those messages appear throughout the month.
- Week of May 4 - Telehealth and Mental / Behavioral Health
- Week of May 11- Is your insurance required to provide mental health parity? / How is mental health parity enforced?
- Week of May 18 - Red flags for parity violations / Have you been unfairly denied mental / behavioral health benefits?
- Week of May 25 - Additional Resources
Added Commissioner Conway, “Through our new website, this campaign and our work with partners, we want people to develop a better understanding of how mental and behavioral health services should be treated by their health insurance under Colorado and Federal law.”
Contact the Colorado Division of Insurance if you have questions about your health insurance, its mental / behavioral health care coverage or you want to file a complaint - 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us - or visit the “Ask a Question / File a Complaint” page of the DOI’s website.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.