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BUSCHING-KAPOCHUNAS FINAL

2/4/2009 1:59:19 AM

2008]

TIMOTHY’S LAW

611

consideration in a decision to self-insure.”61

The study also determined that state parity laws had no measured effect on employee productivity or absenteeism.62 While the researchers conceded that parity laws could arguably improve workplace productivity and efficiency, and that employers would profit from such effects, as well as from less employee absenteeism, “case study informants” either believed parity was ineffectual in this regard or they were unsure of its effects. 63

SAMHSA’s study differentiates between mental health parity laws covering broad definitions of mental illness, and those covering only serious mental illnesses (“SMI”), or “biologically based” mental illnesses.64 In order to analyze this study’s relevancy to a prediction of the effects of Timothy’s Law in New York, we must determine to what type of parity law—broad definition or SMI definition—Timothy’s Law is more comparable to. Section 1 of Timothy’s Law, stating the legislative finding and intent, states in part: “[H]ealth insurance policies and health maintenance organization contracts have not provided comparable coverage for adults and children with biologically based mental illness or serious emotional disturbance disorders affecting

children under the same terms and conditions as provided for

treatment

for

physical

illnesses.”65

The

statute

goes

on

to

medical require

insurers issuing group policies that “provide coverage comparable .

provide for inpatient . . for adults and

hospital care to children with

biologically based mental illness.”66 From the legislature’s liberal use the term “biologically-based mental illness,” and no visible use

of of

another more broad definition of mental Timothy’s Law would be classified in

illness, it is safe to SAMHSA’s study

assume that as an SMI

parity parity

law. laws

SAMHSA’s report does isolated from all other

not have scientific results for SMI parity laws, but they were able to

obtain “a very

premiums.67

By

‘rough’ estimate” of the using their own tabulated

increase on health care data along with previous

studies by Milliman and Robertson, Inc., the researches concluded SMI parity would increase health premiums by 2.5 percent. 68

that

  • 61.

    Id.

  • 62.

    Id.

  • 63.

    Id.

  • 64.

    Id., tbl.1.1.

  • 65.

    Timothy’s Law, ch. 748, sec. 1, § 8, 2006 N.Y. Laws at 3717 (emphasis added).

  • 66.

    Id. at 2198 (emphasis added).

  • 67.

    See SING ET AL., supra note 51.

  • 68.

    Id.

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