May 14, 2012

Mental Health Parity: A Compliance Reminder

Perhaps in honor of May being officially recognized as “Mental Health Month”, the DOL’s Employee Security Benefit Administration (EBSA) has issued several pieces of guidance relating to the mental health parity laws, specifically, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).  EBSA has posted relevant MHPAEA regulations, Fact Sheets, FAQs, interactive compliance tools, and other pertinent information on its dedicated Mental Health Parity website.   Of particular note are two sets of implementation FAQs.  One set of FAQs addresses non-quantitative treatment limitations, such as medical management standards and other questions relating to plan design issues, such as prior authorization requirements.  The other set of implementation FAQs discuss the law’s oversight, carve-out arrangements, interaction with state-mandated mental health benefits, plans exempt from the law, and consumer hot-line information for reporting suspected violations.  

All of this should serve as a reminder that albeit busy with health care reform implementation, EBSA has not forgotten about other laws such as the MHPAEA.  Compliance with the mental health parity laws is important and health plan audits can happen.



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