A presidential task force has made recommendations to ensure people with addiction and mental illness do not face discrimination in treatment, according to NPR.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in 2008, requires larger employer-based insurance plans to cover psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders in the same way they do illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
There has been lax enforcement of the law, and little guidance for the public about how to file a complaint, the article notes.
The task force called for $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the parity law.
“These disorders affect society in ways that go beyond the direct cost of care,” the report authors wrote. “Without effective treatment, people with these health conditions may find it difficult to find or maintain a job, may be less able to pursue education and training opportunities, may require more social support...
Health insurance companies should do more to ensure parity for substance abuse and mental health treatment, members of a congressional subcommittee said at a recent hearing.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires larger employer-based insurance plans to cover psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders in the same way they do illnesses, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, was passed in 2008 and went into effect for most plans in 2010.
“Parity, the simple idea that substance use disorder and heart disease should be treated the same, is the law,” said Representative Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts at a hearing of the House Energy and Committee Subcommittee on Health. “But without proper enforcement and transparency, the law is little more than words. And that lack of enforcement and transparency has devastating consequences.”
The Hill reports Kennedy is sponsoring legislation that would increase enforcement of existing parity regulations and improve...