2/4/2009 1:59:19 AM
HOFSTRA LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW JOURNAL
be found to preempt state law causes of action if the Courts hold that the individual state laws conflict or aggravate the intent of the federal legislation.
Timothy’s Law will benefit many New Yorkers, enabling them to receive mental health treatment previously unavailable or out of their financial reach. Although Timothy’s Law will not be preempted by ERISA because it falls under the insurance savings clause, the preemption of damages for withholding benefits is still a possibility for insurees. The overabundance of progressive state mental health parity laws may soon move Congress to enact a truly comprehensive mental health parity law, standardizing health care benefits for covered people throughout the country. The effect of this federal law on the various state parity laws will not be known until such a law is actually passed.
The clear majority of studies on mental health parity laws have shown that they will not cause excessive financial burdens on insurers, employers, or employees. The scientific data has conversely led some researchers to conclude that the opposite would occur: providing adequate mental health care for employees will result in savings. The actual impact of Timothy’s Law will not be known for many years, leaving many questions unanswered in the interim.
Desireè Busching* & Simon Kapochunas**
* ** J.D., 2008, Hofstra University School of Law. J.D., 2008, Hofstra University School of Law.