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Timothy's Law passes, awaits Pataki's signature

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Timothy's Law passes, awaits Pataki's signature

NYSUT News Wire - December 14, 2006 - At a special legislative session called this week, the state Assembly, keeping to an agreement struck with the state Senate in September, unanimously passed mental-health bill Timothy's Law, which now awaits Gov. Pataki's signature.

Timothy's Law would require all group health insurance and HMO-type policies to provide at least 30 inpatient days and 20 outpatient visits per year for mental health treatment. The cost for this benefit to employers of 50 and fewer employees would be subsidized in full through the state's General Fund.

Large employers would also be required to provide unlimited treatment for adults and children who have biologically-based mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, major depression, bipolar and delusional disorders, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia and anorexia.

Timothy's Law also ensures co-payments and deductibles compare to other services.

The New York State Psychological Association, which is affiliated with NYSUT, and NYSUT's Health Care Professionals Council have lobbied aggressively for Timothy's Law.

Timothy's Law is named after Timothy O'Clair, who took his life at age 12. In order to get mental health coverage, his parents were forced to make him a ward of the state after their insurance refused to pay for his care and the family ran out of money.


NYSUT: A Union of Professionals. NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO. Copyright New York State United Teachers. 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455. 518.213.6000. For questions about this web site, contact the webmaster at

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