Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper last month signed a bill that puts coverage of mental illnesses on much the same footing as physical illnesses. Health insurers must use the same terms and conditions in covering biologically based mental illnesses that they use to cover physical illnesses.
While employers in other states have tended to oppose mental-health parity laws on grounds that they increase health care costs, Delaware's Chamber of Commerce supported the measure. Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating cited the risk of higher health costs when he vetoed a parity bill in April.
Seventeen states have parity laws. Legislators in New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania are considering similar measures.