This week, state lawmakers passed a bill that extends health-insurance coverage to many mental-health diagnoses. Previously, many insurers in the state were not required to offer coverage for mental-health matters, or they placed “caps” on services that put comprehensive care out of reach for many policy holders.
There is a conspicuous omission from the new bill: coverage for substance-abuse treatment. Some lawmakers believe that substance abuse boils down to a matter of personal choice: to take — or not to take — drugs and alcohol.
Once signed by Gov. Michael Easley, the bill is expected to take effect in July of next year.
Click here for coverage of the issue by public radio station WUNC.
— Kent Priestley, staff writer