Minnesota Hospital Association

Policy & Advocacy

Legislative Commentary

View testimony delivered on behalf of MHA and its members to the Minnesota Legislature, as well as written commentary on legislative proposals and bills of interest to the membership. 

March 11, 2019

MHA comments in support of HF 1340/SF 1229, mental health parity

March 11, 2019

Representative Ben Lien
415 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Senator Paul Utke
3403 Minnesota Senate Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Subject: Support for HF 1340/SF 1229

Dear Rep. Lien and Sen. Utke:

I write to you today on behalf of the 141 hospitals and health systems of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) to express support for the overarching goals of HF 1340/SF 1229, which seeks to improve access to mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) care by ensuring mental health parity.

For many Minnesotans, primary access to mental health and SUD care is limited to what is covered by their health insurance, and too often insurers treat coverage and payment for mental health services as separate from general health care. HF 1340/SF 1229 reinforces existing state and federal law that health plans use the same standards when setting non-quantitative treatment limits (NQTL) for mental health and SUD services to ensure access to and coverage of these crucial services are not more stringent or restrictive than other categories of health care. This legislation also calls for comprehensive reporting to the departments of Commerce and Health to help ensure the health plans meet state and federal requirements.

MHA has worked closely with our members and mental health advocates in the community to reduce barriers to access mental health care. Ensuring mental health parity would decrease health care costs for our patients and increase the likelihood that mental health care and SUD services will be received before a person experiences a crisis, which can lessen the reliance on emergency departments for mental health services.

Thank you for your leadership on this important legislation to ensure mental health parity. As this bill moves through the legislative process we hope to keep the overarching goal of parity in place. Please contact Mary Krinkie, MHA Vice President of Government Relations, at mkrinkie@mnhospitals.org with any questions.

Best regards,

Mary Krinkie