New York has fined 15 insurers a total of $2.7 million because they failed to notify small businesses about special mental health coverage available for purchase.
Under Timothy's Law, which is named for a 12-year old who committed suicide after his parents couldn't afford mental health treatment, insurers must tell small businesses that they can buy special mental health insurance for serious emotional disturbances when they sign up for or renew their coverage, reported the New York Daily News.
The Department of Financial Services, which levied the first-ever fines, became aware of the violations after receiving complaints from several small businesses that said they would have purchased the special mental health coverage if given the opportunity, LifeHealthPro reported.
Some of the insurers receiving fines include:
- Oxford/United: $1,313,980
- Empire HealthChoice: $480,440
- HealthNet: $260,680
- MVP: $215,630
- HIP: $187,570
- Independent Health: $112,350
- HealthNow: $101,640
Although the insurers said the violations were unintentional, they all agreed to take steps to prevent recurrences, according to the Associated Press.