Sen. Greg Razer Announces Passage of Mental Health Parity Legislation

Senator Greg Razer Announces Passage of Mental Health Parity Legislation

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, announces the Missouri General Assembly has passed legislation enforcing mental health parity in Missouri.

House Bill 432 contains language, added by Sen. Razer, which enforces the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The MHPAEA, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, requires health insurers to cover mental health care like they would cover physical health conditions. While the MHPAEA has been signed into federal law for over a decade, Missouri is one of the last states in the country to enforce it.

“For far too long, we’ve failed to treat mental health in this state for truly what is – a health condition in need of treatment like any other condition,” Sen. Razer said. “We’ve allowed hurdles to be placed in front of Missourians that make it harder for them to see a doctor and access medications. With the passage of mental health parity, I hope we can finally move forward and ensure Missourians have access to the care they need when they need it.”

Representative Patty Lewis, D-Kansas City, sponsored similar legislation in the Missouri House and believes it will help address a pressing need in the state.

“We have a mental health crisis in Missouri,” Rep. Lewis said. “The inclusion of this mental health parity language recognizes that mental health care is just important as physical health care. As a registered nurse, I am beyond grateful the General Assembly has finally adopted this important language to ensure we can meet the medical needs of people in our state.”

House Bill 432 now heads to the governor’s desk, for his consideration. For more information, please contact Senator Razer’s office at 573-751-6607.