Mental Health/Sub Abuse benefits will have parity with medical benefits 7/1/2014!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Signorina, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Federal Government Releases Final Mental Health Parity Rule

    I just received this update from our Health Insurance Agent (I manage benefits for our company) and thought it would be good news to everyone's ears. I don't know too much about it - so I am passing along the notice he sent me verbatim.

    "The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury jointly issued a final rule increasing parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans.

    The final rule issued implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and ensures that health plan features like co-pays, deductibles and visits limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health/substance abuse disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits.

    When are the final rules effective for group coverage? The final rules generally apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance coverage for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2014. Until the final rule becomes applicable, plans and issuers are instructed to continue to comply with the provisions of the interim final rule.

    The Affordable Care Act builds on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services as one of ten essential health benefits categories. Under the essential health benefits rule, individual and small group health plans are required to comply with these parity regulations."
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update. I am aware of many of the "issues" with health insurance changes but once the muddied waters have begun to clear I truly believe our whole society will benfit. Certainly the SA and MH aspects will help so many families and hopefully prevent alot of societal problems. Honestly I have been shocked to find how many people have cancer and can not access treatment. It's heartbreaking to read of Moms in their 30's who have no insurance and therefore know they will only have a few years with their children. The needs are so great in all health care areas. I'm glad there are "memos" being transmitted in your industry. Fingers crossed. DDD
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree that this is a very good thing. And it's about time!
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Way beyond time for this to happen! Imagine what we could accomplish if we spent on Mental Health/Substance abuse even half of what we spent on incarcerating people with Mental Health and Substance abuse issues!

    My Rotary Club did a tour of the County Jail here (it's a large fairly hard scrabble county overall) and before they even let someone in the door they are doing health and mental illness checks on them, and if there is anything going on. Of course it's strictly because the Sheriff doesn't want it coming out of his budget. It would be nice to think that instead of just detaining them at the hospital until they're stabilized that some of these folks would actually get some help! Their families too, of course.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was going to say that if this has something to do with Obamacare, I wouldnt count on 2014. It may take the next 10 years to allow access to the public on their website. LOL
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Actually, it is part of the ACA but it applies to all health insurance plans not just gov't plans or exchange plans. A lot of private plans are complying already before the deadline. (ours has-blue cross)
    Lasted edited by : Nov 14, 2013
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    And it's a good thing. Limiting people with mental healthcare issues to, say, fifteen therapy visits a year is not helpful and discriminatory toward many who desperately need therapy.
  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, I pray that you are wrong. difficult child needs to be covered this year. The people that I know that have gotten into the website (yes . . . there are a few) are very happy with the plans that they found. difficult child actually did get through for a short time and said there were some very good options but she didn't know which one to pick and now has had trouble getting through again.

    Once they get that blankety blank website fixed I think people will be very surprised at how affordable their options are (with the subsidies).