(TNS) — Health insurers will have to keep their online provider directories updated and children who age out of foster care will be able to remain on MassHealth, under a bill Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law on Tuesday.
The “children’s wellness” law will require health insurers to maintain accurate provider directors that are available online, updated monthly and easy to access.
It will require MassHealth to cover young adults under age 26 who age out of the foster care system.
It will create three “regional childhood behavioral health centers of excellence,” including one in Western Massachusetts, where families, clinicians, early education providers and school districts can get information on behavioral health resources.
It will create a host of commissions to do a deeper analysis of issues like the pediatric provider workforce, how the health care system treats medically complex children, the best way to conduct pediatric behavioral health screenings, and existing laws governing mandated reporting of child sexual abuse.
Members of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing touted the bill as a first step toward improving mental health care for children. Lawmakers are continuing to work on separate bills on pediatric mental health and on improving the foster care system.
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