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Statement on Health Benefit Exchange Legislation

posted Apr 23, 2013, 9:23 AM by DC Behavioral Health Association


April 23, 2013

L. Asher Corson

L Dot Communications

(202) 683-7869




WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association’s (DCBHA) Executive

Director Shannon Hall issued the following statement regarding the District of Columbia Health

Benefit Exchange legislation:


“The District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association thanks Mayor Gray for his leadership and

vision in introducing legislation that will revolutionize the way mental health care is delivered in

the District of Columbia. Passage and implementation of the Health Benefit Exchange is of critical

importance to DCBHA and all mental health advocates because it enables monitoring of key

provisions from the Affordable Care Act, specifically mental health parity and access to mental

health care.”


“The combination of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and Mayor Gray’s Health Benefit

Exchange represents a major opportunity to ensure that more District residents have access to

mental health care. However, we must ensure that health care providers fulfill their obligations to

provide quality mental health services to their patients. At present, there is no ability to track

patient access to mental health services in the District of Columbia. The best way to achieve

mental health tracking is through a robust Health Exchange that monitors compliance of mental

health parity.”


“Mental health parity is the concept that mental health coverage should be covered in the same

way as traditional ‘physical’ health problems. Under mental health parity, individuals with health

insurance will have equal access to mental health services. DCBHA has long advocated for mental

health parity and was pleased to see its inclusion in the Affordable Care Act.”


“DCBHA asks the Council of the District of Columbia to seize this historic opportunity and pass the

proposed Health Benefit Exchange. The legislation will expand access to mental health care

services and improve the delivery of mental health care to District residents.”




Since 1974, the D.C. Behavioral Health Association (DCBHA) has represented the voice of the District’s

behavioral health providers. With 34 member organizations serving over 20,000 D.C. residents per

year, DCBHA providers offer services ranging from substance abuse and mental health treatment to

housing support for adults or children in foster care. For more information, please visit: