House Approves Mental Health Parity Bill

Ohio lawmkers Thursday passed a bill that requires insurance companies to offer the same coverage for mental illness as for physical illnesses. House passage of the bill ends a 20-year legislative fight that mental health advocates say has hurt thousands of families who struggle to pay out-of-pocket expenses for treatment.

About 500,000 Ohioans have a serious mental illness,according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio. The bill would directly help about 110,000 of them — people who have private health insurance but whose plans are limited or don’t cover mental health at all.

But Governor Taft remains undecided about whether to sign it because of concerns that a new insurance mandate would drive up insurance costs and hurt small business owners.

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