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Connecticut, Rhode Island partner to support mental health care needs for residents

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Office of Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong

The attorneys general from Connecticut and Rhode Island have formed a multi-state effort to protect mental health and substance use care for patients.

William Tong and Peter Neronha said the joint decision came after a ruling by a federal district court judge two years ago. The judge found that the nation’s largest managed behavioral health care company, United Behavioral Health, wrongfully denied coverage for mental health services to thousands of subscribers.

That ruling was overturned in March.

Tong said keeping Connecticut’s residents safe and healthy is the goal of the collaboration.

“Connecticut has been devastated by substance use disorder,” said Tong. “We are differently situated than a lot of other states and this is why Rhode Island and Connecticut are in this fight.”

“It affects us so differently than some other communities,” Tong added. “It’s about helping people access the resources and the treatment and prevention programs that they need.”

The court found that United violated Rhode Island and Connecticut state law in denying addiction care to state residents.

But a three-judge appellate panel ignored these findings by the federal district court when it reversed the ruling.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.