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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Fighting For Fairness in Mental Health Coverage

There has long been a widespread insurance industry practice of denying needed mental health and addiction treatments to patients. This problem is not as bad as it once was, but far too many people in need of mental health or addiction care still struggle to get the services they need. I have introduced two bills this year that will help further alleviate this problem.

I have introduced legislation requiring that if insurers determine that a needed mental health or addiction treatment does not meet their internal medical necessity criteria, they cover an alternative treatment. Under current practice, policyholders are left to fend for themselves when denied coverage, and must identify and secure alternative providers and treatments, even for a less-costly and lower level of service. My bill will shift the onus of securing needed care from the patient to the insurer.

The second bill I introduced to establish better mental health parity aims to address the enormous discrepancies in Connecticut between health plan provider networks of medical/surgical participants and providers of mental health and addiction services. Many insurers have very few mental health and addiction providers in their networks. This results in patients not receiving the care they need, or paying out of pocket. A November 2017 report found that 34% of mental health visits in Connecticut were out-of-network, compared with only 3% for medical/surgical services, an elevenfold differential.

Investing in Branford’s Bioscience Corridor

This week, I was proud to announce the approval of a state investment in Branford’s Viiv Healthcare Company. Viiv is a rapidly growing company in Branford's bioscience corridor that is on the cutting edge of HIV research and medicine development. The state grant will complement Viiv’s own investment in itself. The company expects that this expansion will allow it to create or retain 25 jobs.

Connecticut’s future success depends on our ability to identify and invest in our strengths, and one of our greatest economic strengths is the cutting-edge companies like Viiv that populate Branford’s bioscience corridor. I was invited to tour the Viiv facility, and can attest to the incredible work being done there. This company provides good-paying jobs to Connecticut residents and attracts some of the brightest minds in the country to our community. I will continue to work with companies like Viiv to identify opportunities for Connecticut to become a better state for bioscience businesses to grow and thrive

Branford biotech

Earned Family Medical Leave Passes First Legislative Hurdle

This week, the Labor Committee voted to draft Senate Bill 1, "An Act Concerning Earned Family and Medical Leave," the first procedural hurdle needed to pass earned family and medical leave into law.

This is a top priority for me and I am committed to moving this bill forward to provide relief to families across our state.

Paid Family Leave

Life throws us many curveballs; people get sick, have children, and with an aging baby-boomer generation, more and more people in our workforce will have to take time off to care for their elderly parents. Paid family leave is especially important for people with disabilities and their families

There will be multiple opportunities to testify in support of this legislation throughout the legislative session. Additionally, you can sign my petition supporting earned family medical leave and other important progressive issues.

Sign our petition.