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Final Rule to Implement Issued on MHPAEA

Monday, November 11, 2013

On November 8, 2013, a final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) was issued by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury.  This regulation, which has been in process for five years, ensures that people won't be charged higher co-payments or deductibles for mental health and substance use disorder services than they would for physical ailments. The MHPAEA Final Rule also extends consumer protections by ensuring that:

  • Parity applies to intermediate levels of care in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings
  • Clarifying what is required of health plans for transparency
  • Clarifying that parity applies to all plan standards
  • Eliminating an exception to the existing parity law that was found to be confusing, unnecessary, and open to abuse

MHPAEA , originally enacted in 2008, requires that group health plans and health insurance issuers do not have greater limitations on co-pays, deductibles, or treatment limitations for mental health and substance use disorder benefits than they do for medical and surgical benefits. 

Read the MHPAEA Final Rule.

Read about TAC's work on Mental Health and Substance Use.