Michigan Association of Health Plans

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bill to Ensure Equal Insurance Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatments

This press release is from the Executive Office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation that requires insurers to cover treatments for mental health and substance use disorder at the same level as physical health services. This new law aims to close existing loopholes, ensuring that Michigan residents have necessary access to the treatments they need.

“Every person in Michigan deserves access to mental and physical health care,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I am proud to be signing a commonsense, bipartisan bill to require insurers to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatments, just as they do for physical health treatments. Getting this done will ensure Michiganders get the care they need and close loopholes that have allowed providers to avoid covering these essential services. Let’s keep working together to help every Michigander get the help they need to get better.”

Senate Bill 27, sponsored by state Senator Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), provides equitable coverage for behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment.

“Michiganders’ mental health is no less important than their physical health—no one should go without the care they need because they can’t afford it,” said state Senator Sarah Anthony. “That’s why this bipartisan legislation requiring comprehensive insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services is so vital. I am grateful for my legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle and Governor Whitmer for coming together to recognize the importance of mental health care coverage and delivering results for the people of our state.”

“The signage of Senate Bill 27–Michigan’s first mental health parity law that reiterates the verbiage of the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addictions Act of 2008–is a signal to all of us in this state that the tide is turning,” said Marianne Huff, President and CEO, Mental Health Association of Michigan. “In other words, mental health and addiction treatment is viewed as being as vital as physical healthcare. There is understanding in 2024 that the brain, the mind and the body are a unified system.”

“We appreciate Governor Whitmer’s and Senator Anthony’s leadership in prioritizing mental health services for Michiganders,” said Dominick Pallone, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans. “Senate Bill 27 will ensure consistency in mental health coverage throughout our State.”

In her 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Whitmer proposed policies to expand access to mental health services and grow Michigan’s mental health workforce. One key proposal was to ensure parity in coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. Today, Governor Whitmer is making this proposal a reality.

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