Governor Hogan Signs HB 829 to Benefit Mental Health Billing

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On Tuesday, May 14, Governor Hogan signed House Bill 829, which will change the way that mental health services are provided in the state of Maryland. The bill prohibits private insurance carriers from rejecting an accredited community-based health care provider solely because the provider is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Public assistance has long been recognizing LGSWs and LMSWs as billable providers. Now, under HB 829, private carriers must follow suit.

For All Seasons Executive Director, Beth Anne Langrell, Delegate Jeff Ghrist (Caroline County), and the Mid Shore Behavioral Health Consortium worked on the bill for over two years. Langrell testified before the Senate, the House of Delegates Committees, and the Eastern Shore Delegation to help others understand the insurance billing challenges and how they affect individuals and families who need services.

(Back row, from left) Caroline County Delegate Jeff Ghrist, For All Seasons Executive Director, Beth Anne Langrell, and Legislative Assistant, Lois Dustin look on as Governor Hogan signs HB829.

According to Langrell, “People in need of care should not have to worry about whether they carry public or private insurance when scheduling a visit. HB 829 eliminates a long-standing discrepancy and simplifies getting more individuals the mental health services they need.”

Delegate Jeff Ghrist comments, “For so long private insurance holders have not received equal treatment in the ways their mental health services are billed. This bill helps to streamline access for people who need care, rather than complicate the process.”

The bill will go into effect on October 1, 2019.

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples’ counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons or to donate, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.

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