Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Friday that for the first time in California defines “medical necessity,” a move aimed at requiring private health insurance plans to pay for more mental health and drug addiction treatments.
State and federal laws already require health insurance companies to handle mental health treatments the same as physical health treatments.
But those laws don’t define what is “medically necessary” to determine which treatments get covered. Because of that, advocates say private insurers often deny coverage for some mental health and drug abuse treatments based on their own restrictive definitions.
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