The state Assembly has signed off on legislation requiring parity in coverage for mental illness and drug addiction. The bill requires insurance companies that cover mental health and drug abuse treatments to treat them the same as they would any other illness. State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) warns it will add to the growing list of health insurance mandates in Wisconsin, which will ultimately increase to the cost of medical coverage.
Supporters argue the bill does not mandate coverage though. Instead, it requires that mental health and drug addiction are treated the same way as medical or surgical expenses. State Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Milwaukee) says parity is needed to keep the costs of those treatments under control.
The Assembly approved the bill Thursday night on a 57-40 vote. The Senate passed the legislation in January and it now heads to the Governor.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:49)