Senate Bill No. 236

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act defining "severe mental illness"; and providing parity of insurance coverage for severe mental illness."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1. Coverage for severe mental illness -- definition. (1) A policy or certificate of health insurance or disability insurance that is delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, extended, or modified in this state must provide benefits for treatment of severe mental illness, as defined in subsection (6), equal to benefits for treatment of all other physical diseases and disorders.

(2) Benefits provided pursuant to subsection (1) include but are not limited to:

(a) inpatient hospital services;

(b) outpatient services;

(c) rehabilitative services;

(d) medication; and

(e) services rendered by a licensed physician, registered nurse, licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner, licensed social worker, licensed psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, or licensed professional counselor when those services are part of a treatment plan recommended and authorized by a licensed physician.

(3) Benefits provided pursuant to this section must be considered when determining maximum lifetime benefits, copayments, and deductibles.

(4) (a) This section applies to health service benefits provided by:

(i) individual and group health and disability insurance;

(ii) individual and group hospital or medical expense insurance;

(iii) medical subscriber contracts; and

(iv) health maintenance organizations.

(b) This section does not apply to the following coverages:

(i) blanket;

(ii) short-term travel;

(iii) accident only;

(iv) limited or specific disease;

(v) Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (medicare); or

(vi) any other similar coverage under state or federal government plans.

(5) This section does not limit benefits for an illness or condition that does not constitute a severe mental illness, as defined in subsection (6), but that does constitute a mental illness, as defined in 33-22-702.

(6) As used in this section, "severe mental illness" means the following disorders as defined by the American psychiatric association:

(a) schizophrenia;

(b) schizoaffective disorder;

(c) bipolar disorder;

(d) major depression;

(e) panic disorder;

(f) obsessive-compulsive disorder; and

(g) autism.

NEW SECTION. Section  2.  Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 33, chapter 22, part 1, and the provisions of Title 33, chapter 22, part 1, apply to [section 1].

NEW SECTION. Section  3.   Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.

NEW SECTION. Section  4.   Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act].