A Study about Access to Mental Health/Addictions Care
A project of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center December 2017
Access Delayed is Access Denied
Project Access is Supported by the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund of the Long Island Community Foundation
Media Coverage of Project Access
ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A shortage of mental health providers is keeping some patients waiting for months. Many families are paying out of pocket to get help because healthcare providers are refusing to take insurance – saying reimbursements are just too...
Many providers don't take insurance because they say reimbursements are too low, forcing families to pay out of pocket. Dr. Kristie Golden, an associate director at Stony Brook Medicine, said lower payments from insurers have pushed many medical students to choose...
Left to Right: Andrew Malekoff, Sean Grover, Nicole Nagy, Kerry Lynn Eller, Nancy Manigat, and Reverend Gideon L.K. Pollach On Friday April 13, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center hosted a program featuring Long Island author Nicole Nagy. Nagy’s book,...
Times Union, March 22, 2018, Letter from Andrew Malekoff Although our children's safety is paramount ("School safety debate evokes Albany deja vu," March 7), in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, we must understand that it is incredibly rare for people living...
Say options are inadequate in the face of higher rates of depression and anxiety By Timothy Denton In the wake of the Parkland, Fla., shootings, state senators Elaine Phillips, Republican of Floral Park, and Todd Kaminsky, Democrat of Rockville Centre, have renewed...
From Anton Media: Andrew Malekoff discusses the Struggle for Access to Mental Health Care It’s a heartbreaking scenario that is far too common: someone makes the difficult decision to seek out professional help for a mental health or substance abuse problem for...
Andrew Malekoff featured on Mental Health Now television program, March 6, 2018 See this televised episode of Mental Health Now devoted to the 10th anniversary of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. With host Matthew Shapiro, NAMI-NYS and...
Letter to Newsday
15 February, 2018 . PBS’s MetroFocus Television Program News-On the Front Line Guidance Center interviewed about the fight for timely and affordable access for mental health and addictions care Watch The Video Here
By: Adina Genn, Long Island Business News, February 2, 2018 On Long Island, a mother with “Cadillac level” medical benefits struggled to get her child counseling when all of the professionals she called on the North Shore said they don’t take insurance. A...
Contact Your Representatives and Share Your Story
Mail a Letter (see suggested language):
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
On the web: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
To find out who your local representatives are, visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Click Here To Share Your Story With North Shore Family Guidance Center
Dear Governor Hochul:
I am writing to you to express my support for an investigation of health insurance companies by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), which is responsible for assuring that people in need of mental health or addictions care have timely, affordable access to these services.
As the Project Access study of almost 650 Long Islanders found, insurance companies and government are not living up to their responsibility to provide people with mental health and addictions care in a timely fashion.
Even when an insurance company has many providers listed on their behavioral health plans, they often no longer accept the insurance and want cash only, making it unaffordable, or they have months-long waiting lists.
Health insurers are discriminating against people living with mental illness and addiction. This is a violation of civil rights and federal parity law, which government regulators then fail to enforce, as is their statutory responsibility.
In New York, the DFS is charged with enforcement. I urge you to authorize, and DFS Commissioner Mary Vullo to implement, a full-scale investigation into network adequacy during this, the 10-year anniversary of the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
I stand with North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, State Senators Todd Kaminsky and Elaine Phillips and Assemblyman Chuck Lavine in demanding a thorough investigation of insurance companies as it relates to the issue of network adequacy.
Commissioner Vullo agrees. In a Senate Health/Medicaid budget hearing on February 12, 2018, when Senator Kaminsky addressed this matter with her, she responded: “I agree with you that this is something we need to do more on, and we will.”
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