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."