When the next legislative session begins in Hartford on Wednesday next week, Governor Dannel P. Malloy will outline his priorities in his formal budget message. The extent to which Newtown and the 12/14 tragedy in Sandy Hook has aligned priorities for the governor and legislators will be obvious.
When Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission a year ago, he charged the panel with “taking a broad systemic approach in crafting the recommendations that will lead to comprehensive legislative and policy changes that must occur following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.” He explained that this included “ensuring that our mental health system can reach those that need its help.” Like everyone else who has tried to answer the ultimate 12/14 question — why?
State insurance officials have released a “toolkit” they hope will make it easier for Connecticut residents to get coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The nine-page document provides guidance on what questions to ask health care providers and insurers to help ensure that care will be covered, and it includes a checklist of information to gather for those who want to appeal denied claims. Officials developed the guide with experts from the UConn Health Center and insurance companies.
There are some things about Newtown’s profound loss on 12/14 that the community would prefer to keep from prying eyes. As demolition experts worked to dismantle the old Sandy Hook School over the past week, the town tried to thwart those who wanted to witness the community’s private pain as this wounded place was stripped bare.
If you have something to say about how mental health parity laws are being followed, here’s your chance: The Connecticut Insurance Department is soliciting written comments on how it can ensure that insurance companies comply with state and federal laws requiring that they treat mental health the same way they treat medical issues.