Health Insurance Commissioner establishes behavioral health fund

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Health Insurance Commissioner Marie Ganim has announced the creation of a new fund to support and supplement the state’s behavioral health care system. The Behavioral Health Fund was created while the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) completes a market conduct examination of Rhode Island’s four major health insurers.

The Rhode Island Foundation will administer the Fund. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island will contribute $1 million per year over the next five years to that fund. Following the initial contribution by BCBSRI, the fund may also be supported by contributions from other sources.

Grant distributions from the fund will support strategies and service models that enhance primary and secondary prevention, and access to high quality, affordable behavioral health care services. Grant applications will be competitive through an annual solicitation process. An advisory committee will review all grant applications. The first solicitation is expected in the fall of 2018.

The market conduct examination is focused on insurers’ behavioral health practices. The exam process includes a review

of a random sample of case records from each insurer to assess compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements

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