Time to Weigh in with the Senate

March 31, 2023

For the past few weeks, we have been laser focused on pushing the members of the Assembly to go to their leaders and demand the BH insurance proposals in the Health/Mental Hygiene section of the Governor’s executive budget proposal be enacted with the new state budget.  As you may recall, the Senate indicated support for the proposals in its one house bill, but the Assembly did not include the proposals in its bill. 
Now it is time for us to contact the Senate to ensure it prioritizes the insurance proposals.

PLEASE make two calls today:  

Call Senate Insurance Committee Chair Neil Breslin’s office at:  (518) 455-2225 or email to:  breslin@nysenate.gov

Call Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera’s office at:  (518)  455-3395 or email to:  grivera@nysenate.gov

Please tell the person you speak with that you are a (provider/family member/care recipient/constituent) with a strong interest in making sure that ALL New Yorkers including those with commercial insurance have equal access to mental health and/or substance use disorder services from the public mental hygiene system.  At the present time, there are long waiting lists for care across New York, and providers are paid (on average) 50% of the current Medicaid rate for services to New Yorkers with commercial insurance.  This has the effect of increasing barriers to care for New Yorkers with commercial insurance.

The insurance proposals in the Article VII, Health/Mental Hygiene Part II executive budget seek to increase access to services by requiring commercial insurers to provide coverage for services that are essential to the treatment and recovery of New Yorkers with these conditions, to step up current Network Adequacy requirements that should have been updated long before now, and to begin paying fair rates for services provided in school-based mental health clinics.

Please make sure you leave them with the message that they must include the insurance proposals in the final enacted budget. 

If you have questions or need assistance, feel free to call me at 518 461-8200.