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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 20

    Document Title
    Mandated Coverage for Social Anxiety Disorder

    Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits

    Enabling Authority

    Executive Summary
    The House Committee on Corporations, Insurance and Banking referred House Bill 1261 to the Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits (Advisory Commission) during the 2000 session of the General Assembly.

    On June 27, 2000, Delegate L. Karen Darner requested the Advisory Commission to strike House Bill 1261 from the docket because further research was necessary in the area. Section 9-299 of the Code of Virginia provides that the Advisory Commission shall be given a period of twenty-four months to complete and submit its assessment of measures referred for review. On August 15, 2000, the Advisory Commission decided to defer the review of House Bill 1261 until after the 2001 Session of the General Assembly to provide proponents of the bill more time to obtain additional information and to conduct further research on the issue.

    On May 25, 2001, a written statement from Delegate Darner stated that there is no need for this legislation and requested that House Bill 1261 be stricken without further discussion.

    On June 1, 2001, written comments from McGuire Woods Consulting LLC, at the request of their client, originally known as SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, now a part of Glaxo SmithKline, stated that the purpose of House Bill 1261 was to add social anxiety disorder in coverage for biologically based mental illnesses in the Code of Virginia. The comments further stated that through the use of an effective education program, there appears to be more widespread recognition of the need to treat this condition and to provide coverage. SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals recognized the importance of reserving mandated coverage for those conditions where coverage is not generally available. McGuire Woods Consulting LLC concluded that House Bill 1261 was not necessary at this time.

    The Advisory Commission held a public hearing on June 4, 2001. The members of the Advisory Commission agreed that House Bill 1261 should not be considered for review due to the fact that no representatives were present at the hearing to speak in support of House Bill 1261. Written comments in opposition to the bill were provided by the Virginia Association of Health Plans (VAHP) and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.