The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 was substantially expanded in 2008 by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) to require group health plans to cover substance use disorder, and to mandate that plans place mental health/substance use disorder benefits on a more even par with medical/surgical benefits. The new law became effective for plan years beginning October 3, 2009. Interim final regulations were issued February 2 and become effective for plan years beginning July 1, 2010.
The MHPAEA applies to employers with 50 or more workers whose group health plan chooses to offer mental health or substance use disorder benefits.
Working With Your Group Health Plan Administrator
The overall thrust of the regulations is to ameliorate prior practices, which allowed group health plans to set different co-payments and stricter limits on mental health benefits...(register to read more)