NY’s AG announces help line for addicts, those in need of mental help

Eric Schneiderman
FILE - In this May 5, 2015, file photo, New York State Attorney Eric Schneiderman speaks during a Law Day event at the Court of Appeals in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

NEW YORK (WIVB) — In a move to help those in need receive medical care they need, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is establishing a line to help connect patients with treatment.

The action takes aim at medical insurers which turn away patients in need of help with the goal of ensuring necessary medical care is provided, which is a legal obligation.

Specifically, Schneiderman said he’s taking aim at families with members who are suffering from substance abuse, like drug addiction, and mental health disorders.

“Health insurers are required to handle claims for mental health and addiction treatment services the same as medical claims,” Schneiderman said. “My office has taken an aggressive approach to enforcing these laws and will continue to take on those who ignore the law and, by doing so, reinforce the false and painful stigma often associated with substance abuse and mental health conditions.”

Schneiderman says where deemed medically necessary, providers are required to cover treatment, including detox and rehab, in line with medical and surgical benefits.

Officials say any patient denied a request for treatment should reach out to his office at 1-800-428-9071. They also should request written letters of need and detailed reasons for denial.

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