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Jenni Muns

Policy Associate, National Council for Behavioral Health

National Council, AFSP Offer Mental Health Parity Guides Online

August 13, 2015 | Parity | Comments
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In the wake of growing national attention on states’ challenges with parity enforcement, the National Council is re-issuing a series of brochures compiled in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help consumers navigate insurance coverage and understand their rights under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

The National Council/AFSP consumer parity guides provide information on choosing an insurance plan and advice on how to assess whether a plan will meet enrollees’ mental health and substance use needs. They also offer an easy-to-read overview of consumers’ rights under the parity law, and what to do if an enrollee suspects their insurance plan is not in compliance with the law.

Enacted in 2008 and expanded to cover new types of plans in 2010, the parity law prohibits insurance companies from imposing discriminatory coverage restrictions on mental health and substance use benefits. If restrictions such as co-payments or treatment caps are applied to behavioral healthcare, they must be comparable in scope to those applied to medical/surgical benefits.

For more information on the parity law, including a parity appeals toolkit and newly updated information on state parity enforcement efforts, visit the National Council’s parity website.