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Threat to Our Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services

Behavioral HealthChoices (also known as the behavioral health carve-out) is the statewide program through which every county delivers mental health and drug and alcohol services recovery to Pennsylvanians enrolled in Medicaid insurance.

Bills have been introduced in the Pennsylvania House and Senate that would eliminate this successful program and could cause people to lose their current services and supports.

House Bill 335 was introduced by Representative Seth Grove of York County. Similar legislation, Senate Bill 268, was introduced by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill, also of York County. Both bills would eliminate the Behavioral HealthChoices program we have had for 21 years.

Before Behavioral HealthChoices came into existence, physical health care insurance companies managed both behavioral and physical health care. The services were not nearly as plentiful as they are today. Today the Behavioral HealthChoices's (known to people as Magellan, Beacon Health Options, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, PerformCare and Community Behavioral Health) use money earned to reinvest in local county services. The physical health insurance companies kept these funds as profit and did not invest in counties.

If you value a wide array of coordinated and integrated county-managed human services tailored to meet local needs and challenges, and want to preserve Behavioral Health Choices, contact your PA legislators. Urge them to oppose any legislation that would threaten Behavioral Health Choices.

Talking Points