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Whitmer signs bill setting equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health care

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Whitmer signs bill setting equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health care

May 21, 2024 | 4:31 pm ET
By Kyle Davidson
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Whitmer signs bill setting equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health care
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed legislation ensuring insurance companies cover treatments for mental health services and substance abuse disorder at the same level as physical health services. 

“Every person in Michigan deserves access to mental and physical health care,” Whitmer said in a statement. 

“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.”

During her 2022 State of the State address, Whitmer proposed a number of policies to expand mental health access within the state, which included equal coverage of mental health and substance use disorders.  

Senate Bill 27 was sponsored by state Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and received broad support from both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. 

Rep. Mike Harris (R-Waterford), the minority vice chair of the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee and one of the policy’s supporters, cheered the new law in a statement. 

“Physical and mental health go hand in hand, and both are important for living a happy, healthy life,” he said. 

“This law will guarantee that health insurance coverage includes mental health care, so Michiganders can access critical services and treatments. Protecting holistic care will support healthy bodies and healthy minds,” Harris said. 

Marianne Huff, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Michigan said the bill reiterates language in the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addictions Act of 2008, and reflects an understanding that the brain, mind and body work as a unified system.