DOL Focuses On Mental Health And Addiction Parity

Volume: 22 | Issue: 45
October 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies have joined together to propose a new regulation addressing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“the Act”). This law prohibits private health insurance companies from imposing requirements on mental health or substance use disorder benefits that are more restrictive than those imposed on medical and surgical benefits.

The proposed regulation seeks to provide clear guidance to employers and insurers on how to comply with the Act. The Act does not require health plans to offer any specific mental health or addiction benefits. Instead it requires plans that offer such benefits to refrain from imposing any restrictions that make it more difficult for someone to use the plan to access care for a mental health or substance abuse disorder than to access other types of care.

The DOL, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury Department argue that “[p]eople living with treatable mental health conditions commonly face red tape when seeking care, such as unexpected charges, strict preauthorization requirements and provider networks with far too few options available.” As such, in addition to the proposed regulation, they are issuing information and resources about the Act and stepping up enforcement of the Act.

More information about this initiative is available on the DOL’s website, and we will keep you posted on the proposed regulation. In the meantime, if you have questions about the Act, please contact a KZA attorney. 

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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