State of Connecticut - Insurance Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2021
CONTACT: Jim Carson, Communications Director
860-214-1539
Jim.Carson@ct.gov
 

CT Insurance Department Distributes Funds to Behavioral Health
Groups to Improve Wellness and Access to Services

Twenty behavioral health service-related agencies across Connecticut have each received between $18,000 and $25,000 in funding as a result of a Connecticut Insurance Department market conduct examination, Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais announced. The examination was aimed at determining if mental health benefits were being provided at the same level as other medical benefits, as Connecticut law requires.

“More needs to be done to improve access to behavioral health services especially given the toll COVID-19 has taken here in Connecticut,” said Commissioner Mais. “Individuals and families continue to struggle to find the help they desperately need. This funding will help address issues around access.”

The Governor's Prevention Partnership Co-Presidents Roland Harmon and Kelly Juleson-Scopino said, “We want to thank Commissioner Mais for his commitment to increasing access to behavioral health services for Connecticut’s youth. These services are critical for so many young people who are struggling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against systemic racism and oppression has had a profound impact on our mental health, and that impact affects our workplaces. The urgency from the Connecticut business community to support their employees has prompted us to invest in a robust mental wellness in the workplace effort. With these funds, we will be able to accelerate this program. Supporting preventative measures like this and increasing access to support and care for Connecticut residents is critical now more than ever,” said Luis B. Perez, President and CEO of Mental Health Connecticut.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the behavioral health of our community. This funding will help us increase capacity to meet that need and provide counseling and support for those struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, substance use and other behavioral health disorders. We’d like to thank the Insurance Department for enforcing mental health parity laws and supporting providers,” said Roberta J. Cook, President and CEO, BHcare, Inc.

“We are so appreciative of this funding. It will be put to good use throughout the western part of Connecticut where one of our highest priorities is ensuring that people have access to behavioral health treatment and recovery services. Our focus is on individuals, families, and children living and working in the 43 towns comprising the northwestern region of Connecticut,” said Allison Fulton, Executive Director Western CT Coalition.

In northeastern Connecticut, United Services President and CEO Diane Manning said the agency is experiencing unprecedented increases in requests for services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One major source of increase is from the business community. United Services will use its share of the funding to provide employer trainings and help connect employees with behavioral health services through its recently expanded Employee Assistance and Worksite Wellness programs.

“As employees return to work and we all return to our new normal, we are finding that many in our region’s workforce are needing help,” Ms. Manning said. “United Services is grateful for the opportunity to enhance access to services and education and training opportunities for small businesses and employers.”

The Department regulates fully insured group health plans in Connecticut. Those plans cover mental health conditions and are required to provide those benefits at the same level as medical/surgical benefits. The Department monitors each carrier’s market conduct performance, consumer practices, and timely behavioral health claims processing and payments.

These funds came from a Stipulation and Consent Order between United Healthcare Insurance Company, United Behavioral Health (collectively “UHC”) and its subsidiary Oxford Health Insurance, Inc. (Oxford), and the Insurance Department concerning UHC/Oxford’s practices related to behavioral health care services. Read the Stipulation and Consent Order.

Funding Recipients

  • Advocacy and Awareness
    • Mental Health CT: West Hartford
    • Governors Prevention Partnership: Wethersfield
    • Connecticut Legal Rights Project: Middletown
  • Regional Behavioral Health Action Networks
    • The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwestern CT: Norwalk
    • BHcare, Inc.: Ansonia, Branford, North Haven
    • Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC): Norwich
    • Amplify: Hartford
    • Western CT Coalition: Danbury
  • Direct Services
    • Interval House: Hartford
    • Hartford Behavioral Health: Hartford
    • Bridges: Milford
    • Chemical Abuse Services Agency (CASA): Bridgeport
    • United Services: Dayville
    • Compass Youth Collaborative: Hartford
    • Reliance Health: Norwich
    • Susan B. Anthony Project: Torrington
    • Hartford Communities That Care: Hartford
    • Project Longevity: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven
    • CT Mental Health Center Foundation: New Haven
    • The Connection: Middletown

 

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