Task Force Calls for Better Enforcement of Mental Health and Addiction Parity Law

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 services, and are more likely to have their housing stability threatened.”