Wednesday, April 08, 2009

NO Mental Health Parity in NC : BCBSNC makes their own rules (and you'll like it or just shut up, Rep Martha Alexander)

Fitzsimon File
The special interest health plan
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

"......The House Insurance Committee picked up things from there, bowing to the wishes of the lobbyists for chiropractors and physical therapists by reducing the co-pays for their patients to same level as primary care physicians.

That would raise the premium for family coverage to 10.1 percent a year.

The House Appropriations Committee was next and Wednesday morning's meeting began with Chair Mickey Michaux announcing that any proposed amendments could not increase the cost of the plan, which is exactly what the Insurance Committee had done days before.

That didn't stop Rep. Martha Alexander from proposing that co-pays for mental health visits be reduced, which seems only fair since they are at least as important as seeing a chiropractor.

Michaux promptly ruled that out of order because it would cost the state more. The rules that apply to chiropractors apparently do not apply to psychologists."


Looks to me like the NC Psychological Association hasn't done an adequate lobbying job......since that's what the world is about these days.

What's there to lobby? Oh, I dunno: maybe the MH Parity Law that was passed with such a lot of horn-honking & ballyhoo that you had to guess that in actuality it was 180 degrees in the other direction (a clear way to know that things are bogus).

Psychologists wrote letters and called people; and NC Psychological Association talked about what a swell thing had passed.....and lo and behold....nothing really happened at all.

BCBSNC, insuring about one-third of paying people in NC simply did what it wanted to do and the State Legislature----their overseers----simply walked past the corpse whistling.

Doesn't matter what the law says as per Mental Health Parity for BCBSNC was able to just toss the MH parity matter-----which was Martha Alexander's balliwick (thanks Martha!)

Yep: until BCBSNC is overseen by SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE NC STATE LEGISLATURE, we ain't getting anywhere re: MH Parity in this state.

Yes, check the stats: BCBSNC has as insured, paying people, almost one-third of the population of the state of NC.

Bring on the legislation to get the overseeing of BCBSNC OUT from under the State Legislature and OVER into the Department of Insurance.

Besides the non-availability of MH Parity, I've been writing letters to the Department of Insurance for almost two years now re: the non-availability of screening colonoscopies in western NC for people aged 50 and over.

The American Cancer Society recommends screening colonoscopies beginning at age 50.

There's a law denoted as 'colorectal screening' which mandates it.

Doesn't matter. BCBSNC, one of the top wealthiest 'Blues' in the US (there are 28) hords its gold and asks for hand-outs which the State Legislature caves in to.


Colo-rectal screening is THE LAW in NC but that doesn't mean that BCBSNC can't tell you have to drive hours w/ a Fleet's enema in your colon in order to get screening colonoscopy .

I hope someday to hear about the travails of some BCBSNC official having to 'hold it' while trying to get somewhere important.

Nope: daddy can't stop the car just yet...... just hang on......


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