California Court of Appeal decides health insurers must provide all medically necessary mental health treatment for people with Severe Mental Illnesses

On March 18, 2014, Lisa Kantor argued, to the California Appellate Court, that the California Mental Health Parity Act must be applied to for health insurance companies to provide appropriate treatment for people with Severe Mental Illnesses. We found ourselves at the appellate level since the trial Court had ruled against our client in the matter of Marissa Rea v. Blue Shield of California, concluding the law did not require residential treatment for persons with severe eating disorders. This was both unfortunate, and odd, since the United States Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit had previously held just the opposite..

Well, thankfully, the Court of Appeals agreed with our position, and on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, issued an opinion overruling the trial court and finding the Mental Health Parity Act does in deed mandate”treatment of mental illnesses sufficient to reach the same quality of care afforded physical illnesses.” You can read the entire decision by clicking here: Rea v. Blue Shield

The Rea decision is a very important decision in California. It affirms the breadth of the Parity Act for people suffering from severe mental illnesses, including anorexia and bulimia. Congratulations to Lisa, her partner J. David Oswalt, and the entire Kantor & Kantor, LLP team for a job very well done.

The battle may not quite be over, however, as Blue Shield may well petition to have the case reviewed by the California Supreme Court. Stay tuned…

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