DeSantis signs bill into law to identify gaps in mental health coverage


House Bill 701, a bill regarding mental health care coverage, was signed June 21 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The bill aims to expand mental health care by identifying gaps in coverage.

“The purpose of this bill is to help people get the right services, at the right place, at the right time,” said state Rep. Cindi Stevenson. “Too often we hear complaints and it is years too late. The consequences can be catastrophic.  This bill is an attempt to remedy that.”

House Bill 701 will also require that insurance companies and health maintenance organizations provide direct notice to their customers of state and federal requirements for coverage of behavioral health-care access. Additionally, a toll-free number will be provided for customers to report complaints regarding their coverage, including, but not limited to: the challenges of locating and accessing behavioral health care services, the expense of receiving such services and any other complaints regarding the adequacy of services.

Finally, HB 701 will require that a joint report from the Department of Financial Services and the Agency of Health Care Administration be submitted to the governor, president of the Senate and Speaker of the House. This report will contain the data involving complaints from health insurance customers, the cause of such complaints and whether the complaints were resolved with in a timely manner.

“In recent years, the importance of acknowledging, understanding, and remedying mental health issues has become more and more evident. This bill gives everyone who is suffering from mental health issues a voice to make sure that they are satisfied with their health care coverage,” state Sen. Jason Brodeur said.

For more information on this bill, as well as other bills filed during the 2021 session, go to