Clarification of in-school behavioral health reimbursement amended, advanced

A bill that would require insurance companies in Nebraska to pay for covered behavioral health services delivered in schools advanced to final reading April 2.

Sen. Rick Kolowski
Sen. Rick Kolowski

Omaha Sen. Rick Kolowski said he introduced LB619 because there is confusion in current law about whether insurance companies will reimburse a provider who meets with a client at a school. The bill would prohibit an insurance company from denying coverage or payment for a mental health service solely because the service is delivered in a school.

As amended during general file debate, LB619 would not require an insurer to cover services otherwise excluded from a policy and would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Kolowski offered an amendment on select file, adopted 40-0, to clarify that the bill would not require payment for mental health services provided by an individual employed by or under contract with a school district or an educational service unit in a regular full-time or part-time position.

He said the change was intended to address concerns raised on general file by North Platte Sen. Mike Groene that school personnel could bill an insurer for services rendered.

Groene supported the amendment, which he said simply clarifies that no school or ESU staff would be eligible for reimbursement under the bill.

“Sen. Kolowski wrote a very clear amendment that clarifies it,” he said. “It felt good to work together as a team of senators to accomplish this.”

Following adoption of the Kolowski amendment, senators advanced LB619 to final reading by voice vote.

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