Jones honored for work on behalf of people with mental illness
News: 2015 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones was honored by the American Psychiatric Association with the organization's Jacob K. Javits Public Service Award for his dedication, commitment and achievements in protecting the rights of those with mental illness. Jones has a long history of working to make sure health insurers comply with all state and federal mental health laws and mandates to provide coverage for medically necessary treatment for people with mental illness.
"Dave Jones is a guardian and protector of Californian's right to treatment," said Dr. Timothy Murphy, President of the American Psychiatric Association. "As insurance commissioner, he fights tirelessly day in and day out against discrimination by insurers securing treatment for people who often need, sometimes desperately need mental health services. He is considered a national champion in the effort to guarantee medical insurance coverage for those with mental illness."
Jones' work in the area of protecting those with mental illness includes requiring health insurers to cover treatment for autism and other mental illnesses, issuing regulations incorporating strong protections for those with mental illness, overturning health insurer denials of treatment and coverage for those with mental illness, joining mentally ill patients in lawsuits against health insurers to protect their right to treatment, which resulted in significant state and federal court decisions in favor of the mentally ill patients right to treatment, and his ongoing implementation of the state and federal mental health parity acts.
"We will continue to work to make sure that people with mental illness are treated fairly by their health insurer and that they can access the medically necessary treatment they need -by issuing strong regulations, intervening on behalf of mentally ill patients, bringing enforcement actions against health insurers, joining mentally ill patients in lawsuits to defend their right to care, and all the other tools at our disposal," said Jones. "It means a great deal to me to receive this prestigious award from the American Psychiatric Association --whose members are on the front lines helping those with mental illness -for our work protecting those with mental illness."
The award, named for Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York, is presented only every two years to a public official for their achievements on behalf of those with mental illness. Jones received the award at the organization's 28th annual conference in Orange County.
Media notes: below are links to documents regarding Jones' work on behalf of people with mental illness.
- 2011 court decision regarding treatment for anorexia nervosa
- Jones' work to secure treatment for patients with autism
- Jones' emergency regulations regarding autism treatment
- LINK TO THE CDI AMICUS BRIEF IN THE REA CASE
- LINK TO THE CDI AMICUS BRIEF IN THE HARLICK CASE
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.