The massive Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 contains new provisions on mental health parity, disaster tax relief for victims of this year's hurricanes and floods, and a new tax break for employees who bicycle to work.
Mental Health Parity Expanded And Made Permanent
Mental health parity has been on the books since 1996, sunsetting at the end of a calendar year, but always being reinstated by Congress. It was, for example, slated to expire at the end of this year. The emergency stabilization act makes the current mental health parity provisions permanent, effective January 1, 2009.
The emergency stabilization act also requires group health plans that provide mental health benefits to extend benefits to substance abuse-related disorders. More parity between medical-surgical benefits and mental health-substance abuse benefits will be required, as well. Small employers — those with not more than 50 em...(register to read more)