Consumer Group Files Lawsuit Against Health Net for Denying Access to Care for Members With Mental Illnesses
Consumer advocacy group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights on Monday filed a lawsuit against Woodland Hills-based Health Net alleging that the insurer applied a "more restrictive definition of medical necessity" that restricted the type and quantity of services available to members seeking mental health treatment, the Los Angeles Times reports. The suit also claims that Health Net and a subsidiary have violated the state's Mental Health Parity Act since 2001 by not providing appropriate treatment to children with mental illnesses who are covered under their policies. According to FTCR's complaint, the Mental Health Parity Act requires insurers to "treat severe mental disorders and serious emotional disturbances in children under the same terms as other medical conditions under the plan," the Times reports. Health Net spokesperson Brad Kieffer said the lawsuit was "political grandstanding," but he added that the company had not yet been served with the suit and had no further comment at that time (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 4/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.