STAND. COM. REP. NO.2523
RE: S.B. No. 2091
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 2091 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH, ALCOHOL, AND DRUG ABUSE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to repeal the sunset date of chapter 431M, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), relating to mental health and alcohol and drug abuse treatment insurance benefits.
Testimony in favor of this measure was submitted by the Department of Health, Hawaii Psychological Association, Equal Insurance Coalition, Mental Health Association in Hawaii, Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii Medical Association, NAMI Oahu, and Diamond Head to Kalihi-Palama Service Area Board on Mental Illness and Substance Abuse. The Hawaii Chamber of Commerce provided comments on this measure.
Chapter 431M, HRS, is currently set to be repealed on July 1, 2002, pursuant to Act 78, Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 1998. Your Committee has heard testimony over the past several years in support of insurance benefits for mental health and alcohol and drug abuse.
Although originally enacted by Act 202, SLH 1988, as temporary coverage due to questions about efficacy and insurance costs, those doubts have since been resolved favorably. These coverages have proven to provide therapeutically effective treatment and do not raise premiums appreciably. Your Committee believes that insurance benefits should be made permanent.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2091 and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing,
RON MENOR, Chair