Insurance plans would have to cover treatment for “biologically-based” mental illnesses if a bill that cleared the House Human Resources Committee becomes law. Representative Dan Boddicker, a republican from Tipton, says the types of mental illness classified as “biologically-based” include depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Group insurance policies would be required to pay for at least 30 in-patient visits and 52 out-patients visits each year. Democrat Representative Ro (roh) Foege of Mount Vernon says for too long, there’s been a stigma attached to mental illness.Foege, who is a retired social worker, says there are now effective treatments for many mental illnesses.Foege says the treatments for some types of depression have become as effective as treatments for heart ailments. The bill is one of Governor Vilsack’s priorities. It must clear the House and the Senate before it lands on Vilsack’s desk, though, and while the House approved a similar bill three years ago, the Senate has never endorsed the concept.
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