Malloy announces new grant for insurance claims, adolescent mental health in response to Newtown shooting

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a new behavioral health claims “tool kit” for families to seek mental health reimbursements. It’s a free program from the Connecticut Insurance Department, the UConn Health Center and health insurance companies, with a step-by-step process that families and providers can use to submit to insurance companies for preauthorization of medically necessary behavioral health services.

In addition, the governor announced that the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is also receiving two grants totaling $9 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to better address the mental health needs of youth in the community and in schools.

“Protecting the well-being of our children and improving the quality of life for their families have been the overarching goals of my administration and the need for these services has become even more evident after the Newtown tragedy.  These resources are a clear example of the compassionate collaboration required to achieve these goals,” Malloy said in a statement.  “With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act, more of our citizens will have health insurance and tool kit is another resource they can use in accessing the treatment.  The addition of these grants will enable Connecticut to more effectively reach out to young adults who need mental health support and bolster safe school environments.”

Insurance Department Deputy Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling, who oversees the Department’s health insurance initiatives, said the “tool kit” is a downloadable document available the agency’s website and through health insurance carriers.  “We developed the ‘tool kit’ to help families make sound choices and get the right care,” Dowling said in a statement.  “The department sincerely appreciates the assistance and expertise from the UConn Health Center and the thoughtful input from the carriers.  The ‘tool kit’ is the product of a six-month collaboration aimed at providing clarity and an easier path toward accessing mental health treatment.”

The state will use the three-year, $966,660 Early Diversion grant to promote training, consultation and early identification of mental health problems in children and young adults.   “Young adults are often more difficult to engage and need specialized supports.  This grant will enable us to build upon the excellent work of the CIT Teams” DMHAS Commissioner Pat Rehmer said.  “Consultation will be made available to CITs 24-hours per day.  These funds will enhance our efforts to better serve Connecticut’s youth and young adults.”

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students award is a four-year, $8 million grant to be administered by DMHAS in partnership with the State Department of Education (SDE), the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD), and the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) of Bridgeport, Middletown, and New Britain.  “It has become increasingly clear over the past few years that our schools are a vital partner in creating resilient children and decreasing violence,” Malloy said.  “State and local partnerships can be a valuable tool in creating and maintaining environments that support a positive school climate that is violence and drug free.”