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North Carolina

Website: It's OK to Ask

Recent Developments and Legislation 
The Injury and Violence Branch's Epidemiology Unit has published The Burden of Suicide which provides statistics on suicide, hospitalizations for suicide attempts and emergency department visits for suicide attempts.
House Bill 1183 makes several changes in current law governing health insurance and managed care to comport with US Congressional enactments, specifically establishing mental health parity.
Three major metropolitan areas worked in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to hold "Out of Darkness" walks in their respective communities. In Winston-Salem, 195 walkers raised $11,000; In Chapel Hill-Carrboro, 150 walkers raised $11,000; In Charlotte, 188 walkers will be walking in 2008.
On July 12, 2007, North Carolina General Assembly passed a mental health parity bill. The final House vote was 114-2. The bill proceeded to the Governor for his signature.

About House Bill 973:
1. HB 973 covers all group plans.
2. HB 973 covers 9 diagnoses at full parity: bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid and other psychotic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
3. HB 973 covers all other mental illness diagnoses at financial parity ? meaning deductibles, coinsurance factors, co-payments, maximum out-of pocket as well as annual and lifetime limits must be the same as for physical illnesses.
4. Mental illness diagnoses not included in the 9 listed above may have different durational limits, but the minimum benefit required must provide for:
Thirty (30) combined inpatient and outpatient days per year and
Thirty (30) office visits per year
5. The law becomes effective July 1, 2008.