142013Nov

Administration Issues Final Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Rule

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Rules, released 11.8.13

“This is the largest expansion of behavioral health coverage in a generation.”
-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

 Read the official Department of Health and Human Services press release here.

From the SAMHSA website:

On Friday, November 8, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires insurance groups that offer coverage for mental health or substance use disorders to provide the same level of benefits that they do for general medical treatment.

The final rule includes specific additional consumer protections, such as:

  • Ensuring that parity applies to intermediate levels of care received in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings;
  • Clarifying the scope of the transparency required by health plans, including the disclosure rights of plan participants, to ensure compliance with the law;
  • Clarifying that parity applies to all plan standards, including geographic limits, facility-type limits and network adequacy; and
  • Eliminating an exception to the existing parity rule that was determined to be confusing, unnecessary and open to abuse.



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