Even before the pandemic, Californians were increasingly concerned about mental health care: Surveys showed people thought such care was too hard to access, and that they had to wait too long for it. The recent surge in demand brought on by the pandemic has made this even worse.
By law, health plans must offer initial mental health appointments within 10 business days. But some advocates say that’s not good enough if patients are then forced to wait weeks or months for follow-up care. This law aims to change that.