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April 16, 2024 Clouds | 50°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4UU: Coverage for annual mental health wellness examination

Section 4UU. (a) For the purpose of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

''Licensed mental health professional,'' a licensed physician who specializes in the practice of psychiatry, a licensed psychologist, a licensed independent clinical social worker, a licensed certified social worker, a licensed mental health counselor, a licensed supervised mental health counselor, a licensed psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist, a licensed psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, a licensed physician assistant who practices in the area of psychiatry, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor I, as defined in section 1 of chapter 111J, or a licensed marriage and family therapist within the lawful scope of practice for such therapist.

''Mental health wellness examination,'' a screening or assessment that seeks to identify any behavioral or mental health needs and appropriate resources for treatment. The examination may include: (i) observation, a behavioral health screening, education and consultation on healthy lifestyle changes, referrals to ongoing treatment, mental health services and other necessary supports, and discussion of potential options for medication; and (ii) age-appropriate screenings or observations to understand a covered person's mental health history, personal history and mental or cognitive state and, when appropriate, relevant adult input through screenings, interviews, and questions.

''Primary care provider'', a health care professional qualified to provide general medical care for common health care problems, who: (i) supervises, coordinates, prescribes or otherwise provides or proposes health care services; (ii) initiates referrals for specialist care; and (iii) maintains continuity of care within the scope of practice.

(b) A subscription certificate under an individual or group medical service agreement delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth shall provide coverage for an annual mental health wellness examination that is performed by a licensed mental health professional or primary care provider, which may be provided by the primary care provider as part of an annual preventive visit. The examination shall be covered with no patient cost-sharing, provided, however, that cost-sharing shall be required if the applicable plan is governed by the Federal Internal Revenue Code and would lose its tax-exempt status as a result of the prohibition on cost-sharing for this service.

(c) The division of insurance, in consultation with the office of Medicaid, and the department of mental health, shall develop guidelines to implement this section.