Understanding Mental Health Parity (article)
Earlier this year, a federal task force was appointed by President Obama to examine matters relating to the access and treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders. The task force recently released its findings and provides recommendations to improve access and treatment for individuals receiving or seeking such services.
Along with the report, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services released several FAQs that underscore the importance of ensuring parity in accordance with the mental health parity laws that require financial requirements and treatment limitations imposed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits in health plans be equal to those imposed for medical/surgical benefits. In addition, the FAQs address medication assisted services used to treat substance use disorders including opioid use disorders, and court-ordered treatment.
For consumer outreach purposes, HHS has established an on-line consumer portal to assist individuals with complaints, appeals or how to obtain federal or state assistance when seeking mental health or substance abuse services. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and DOL released a Consumer Guide to assist individuals in understanding the parity rules under their health plan.
The information contained in this article is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This article is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Please consult a CBIZ professional. This information is provided as-is with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.