New Ohio bill seeks to meld with federal mental health requirements

    Ohio State Capitol building; Jodi Jacobson / Getty Images

    A new bill with bipartisan support seeks to line up mental health laws in Ohio with federal law, according to the sponsors of the bill. 

    The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was introduced Monday by State Rep. Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington and Rep. Phil Plummer, R-Dayton, according to a press release. 

    The law would attempt to bring awareness about “rights and responsibilities” regarding mental health and “facilitate greater implementation and enforcement.”

    “Despite more than a decade of federal requirements, true parity between medical and behavioral health benefits does not yet exist in Ohio,” Russo was quoted as saying in the release. “We must close these coverage gaps so that Ohio can better fight the addiction crisis and patients can access needed mental health and addiction care they are legally eligible to receive.”

    Rep. Plummer was not available for comment on Monday. 

    A 2019 report by Gov. Mike DeWine’s Recovery Ohio Advisory Council named mental health law consistency as a top priority for state agencies.

    Susan Tebben
    Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.