California Court Rules Insurer Must Provide Residential Treatment Coverage

Just a few months ago, a California district court ruled that the state's Mental Health Parity Act requires Blue Shield of California to pay for benefits for residential treatment for a client's major depressive disorder and panic disorder. This was the first case to apply the earlier landmark ruling, Harlick v. Blue Shieldof California , which challenged coverage in a residential treatment facility for treatment of an eating disorder.

"On Jan. 12, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled inBurton v. Blue Shield of California that under the state's Mental Health Parity Act, the insurer must cover medically neccessary treatment of severe mental illnesses under the same terms and conditions applied to other medical conditions." -MHW

“Mental health parity is firmly established law in California,” said Lisa Kantor, who represents Ms. Burton. “Blue Shield continues to act as if the Act doesn’t exist by denying residential treatment when it is clearly medically necessary. That attitude is offensive to both policyholders and the legal system.”

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