Mental Health Parity Signed Into Law

President Bush has signed the Mental Health Parity into law, a victory for millions of Americans who, due to insurance discrimination, have been unable to obtain the mental health care they have needed.

It is estimated that 67 percent of adults and 80 percent of children requiring mental health/addiction services have been affected by limitations in health insurance coverage. Insurance companies have for years set higher copays and deductibles with stricter limitations for mental health and addiction treatment resulting in many going untreated or not receiving the treatment they need.

"The mental parity law, one of many amendments included in the legislation to broaden legislative support for the bailout package, requires health insurance companies to charge the same deductibles, co payments, and out-of-pocket expenses for mental health treatments as for all other illnesses."

"Federal officials said the law would improve coverage for 113 million people, including 82 million in employer-sponsored plans that are not subject to state regulation. The effective date, for most health plans, will be Jan. 1, 2010."
Businesses of 50 employees or fewer are exempt.

For more information:
Mental Health America
The New York Times
Patricia E. Bauer



Anonymous said...

Glad to see this finally passed!