Mental Health Parity

The recent bailout bill had an interesting addition – a mental health parity act. When this new mental health parity act takes effect, your employer-sponsored health insurance plan will no longer be allowed to differentiate benefits levels between regular medical benefits and mental health benefits provided under the plan. Right now, insurers are allowed to set higher co-pays or stricter limits on benefits, such as a fewer number of visits to a speech therapist for autism, for example.

The parity act is broad in that it includes coverage for addiction services as well. However, it does not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees.


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