AB 2466 (Carrillo) Timely Access to Behavioral Health Services for Medi-Cal Recipients – Support

April 5, 2024

The Honorable Mia Bonta
Chair, Assembly Health Committee
California State Assembly
1020 N Street, Room 390
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Support for AB 2466 (Carrillo)

Dear Chair Bonta:

Mental Health America of California (MHAC) is pleased to support AB 2466 (Carrillo), legislation which would improve timely access to behavioral health services for Medi-Cal recipients by strengthening appointment standards, establishing repercussions for non-compliance, and establishing requirements for data collection and reporting.

MHAC is a peer-run organization leading the state in behavioral health public policy and advocacy since 1957. The mission of MHAC is to assist and encourage communities, families and individuals to experience hope, wellness and recovery from mental health and substance use disorder issues through voluntary services that are delivered in a timely manner in their local community with compassion and respect for everyone’s dignity and autonomy. 

Delays in the delivery of services can mean the difference between managing one’s mental health challenges and experiencing a mental health crisis. According to an audit of the Department of Managed Health Care, non-urgent appointments had an average wait time of 23 days, surpassing the standard time frame by nearly two weeks.[1] Urgent appointments saw an average wait time of 13 days, exceeding the standard urgent appointment time frame by 9 days.

AB 2466 (Carillo) aims to address these delays and ensure accountability among Medi-Cal managed health plans. For these reasons we support AB 2566 and ask for your “Aye” vote. If you have any questions, or if MHAC can provide any assistance on this bill or any other behavioral health legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me or our Interim Public Policy Director, Karen Vicari, at kvicari@mhaofca.org.

In Community,

Heidi L. Strunk
President & CEO

[1] Department of Health Care Services and Department of Managed Health Care. Report 2023-115. (n.d.). https://www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2023-115/index.html