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News from State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr.

April 13, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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Capitol: 860-240-0455
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420
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Bringing Transparency and Fairness to Mental Health

MHCLast year, New York’s Attorney General revealed that many health plans doing business in the state denied nearly 40 percent of their members’ claims for inpatient psychiatric treatment and nearly 50 percent of their members’ claims for inpatient substance abuse treatment, more than double the denial rate for inpatient medical or surgical claims. This year I introduced a bill that will determine if a similar problem exists in Connecticut and help eliminate it.

The bill I proposed calls for the state’s working group on behavioral health to gather data on the rate at which health plans deny claims for mental health and substance abuse treatment compared to claims for other health care services. I have heard from constituents whose family members have been denied essential mental health treatment. I have also spoken to many medical professionals who've explained that their patients frequently struggle to get approval from insurance for mental health services. These denials of service are unfair and potentially dangerous. By collecting this additional information, we will determine if something similar to what we saw in New York is happening here in Connecticut, allowing us to take action and eliminate the problem.

Creating Jobs and Increasing Recycling in Our Communities

I recently had the opportunity to tour the East Haven recycling center of Guilford-based SARAH, Inc. and speak with several of the employees about their jobs. SARAH is a nonprofit agency that provides a range of services to children and adults with disabilities in communities across the Greater New Haven and Shoreline area. The SARAH Redemption Center opened two years ago with the mission of employing SARAH’s clients and increasing recycling in the community.

It is incredible that SARAH has found a way to create jobs for people with intellectual and other disabilities while also doing so much to increase recycling. This model of creating a dual-focused social good is very impressive to witness, and should be considered as a model for similar organizations around the state. Over 20 SARAH clients are employed at the Redemption Center, where they collect and process an average of 800,000 bottles annually.

The SARAH Redemption Center is located at 690 Foxon Road in East Haven. Anyone interested in redeeming their bottles and cans while also supporting job creation for people with intellectual and other disabilities can visit the redemption center or drop their recyclables off at one of the “SARAH Recycles” bins. There are 21 SARAH bottle and can recycling bins, located in Guilford, Madison, Branford, North Branford, Westbrook, Clinton, East Haven and North Haven. For a full list of bin locations, visit: www.sarah-inc.org/recycle.html.


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My mailing address is:
Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., Legislative Office Building, Room 3200, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0455, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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