Mental Health America Submits Comments on Interim Final Rules for Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
Contact: Steve Vetzner (703) 797-2588 or email@example.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 29, 2010)-Mental Health America today submitted comments in support of the strong consumer protections included by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury in the interim final rules they released for the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
"After spending many years advocating in support of federal mental health and addiction treatment parity legislation, we are eager to work with the agencies to ensure that the implementing regulations reflect Congress' intent to prohibit discriminatory limits on mental health and substance use conditions by employer-sponsored and other group health plans," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.
In its comments, Mental Health America applauded the many positive provisions in the interim final rules, including those clarifying that parity requirements apply to non-quantitative treatment limitations and that the new law requires health plans to end the practice of imposing additional deductibles for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The comments also address several other issues for which the Departments requested comments, including additional clarification on how to apply parity to non-quantitative treatment limits, how the new parity law should result in coverage of a comparable scope of service for mental health and substance use disorders, and recommendations for improvements to the disclosure requirements regarding medical necessity and coverage denials, as well as recommendations regarding how to determine when a health plan qualifies for an exemption from the law due to cost increases.
The comments can be viewed here.
The three departments issued the interim final rules in February. Comments are due by May 3.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our century of service to America and our more than 300 affiliates nationwide, we represent a national movement that promotes mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation- everyday and in times of crisis.