New Proposed Rules Aim to Tackle Stubborn Mental Health Treatment Barriers

The federal government on July 25 issued proposals to strengthen the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and ensure that health plans are complying with the mandate of providing fair and equal access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. JoAnn Volk, the founder and co-director of Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, says HHS and the Labor and Treasury departments are particularly interested in addressing health plans’ reporting and comparative analyses of nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs).

The MHPAEA was enacted in October 2008 and built upon the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, which prohibited large group health plans from having different annual and lifetime limits for mental health and medical/surgical benefits. However, the agencies did not publish final regulations implementing the MHPAEA until November 2013.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years. Before joining AIS Health in December 2021, he was a business reporter covering the commercial real estate industry’s capital markets for four years. He previously covered health care business issues for two medical publishing companies and high school, college and professional sports for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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