The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury proposed rules that would ensure that people seeking coverage for mental health and substance use disorder care can access treatment as easily as people seeking coverage for medical treatments. “Mental health care is as important to the well-being of America’s workers as physical health care,” Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su said at a White House event highlighting the importance of mental health care. DOL’s proposal is pursuant to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (passed in 2008) which aims to make sure people seeking mental health and substance use disorder care do not face greater barriers to treatment than those faced by people seeking treatment for medical and surgical conditions. Generally, the act prohibits private health insurance companies from imposing copayments, prior authorization and other requirements on mental health or substance use disorder benefits that are more restrictive than those imposed on medical and surgical benefits.
The proposed rules seek to fully protect the rights of people seeking mental health and substance use disorder benefits and provide clear guidance to plans and issuers on how to comply with the law’s requirements. In developing their proposals, the departments drew from their combined and individual experiences in enforcing the act and in working with plans and issuers, as well as state regulators.
Learn more about the proposed rules to improve mental health and addiction care access