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Massachusetts Poised To Enact Parity; Kentucky Is 30th State

For Immediate Release, April 25, 2000
Contacts: Bob Carolla or Anne-Marie Chace 703-524-7600

Arlington, VA-Two more states have moved to join the widening majority nationwide that have enacted laws to require parity for mental illnesses in health insurance plans.

On April 21st, Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patten signed HB268 into law, requiring health insurance plans that provide any coverage of mental illnesses to provide full parity with other illnesses. Kentucky is now the 30th state in the nation to enact a parity law.

In Massachusetts on April 24th, the state legislature also passed a parity law, which now awaits signature by Governor Paul Cellucci. The governor has until May 4th to sign the legislation. A champion of parity in the past, he is expected to make Massachusetts the 31st state with a parity law.

"Parity stands for a commitment to effective treatment, as well as ending discrimination and stigma," declared Laurie Flynn, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). "We thank all the elected officials whose leadership have made these laws possible, and who have demonstrated that parity is a winning, bipartisan issue. Both laws will make a difference in people's lives."

"With Massachusetts, parity also becomes the law throughout New England," Flynn noted. "The region now stands solid-as a leader for the nation. It is an especially important victory."


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