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Washington, DC, November 8, 2013 – The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury today jointly issued a final rule increasing parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans. The final rule issued today implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and ensures that health plan features like co-pays, deductibles, and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health/substance abuse disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits.
Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, issued the following statement in response to the release of the final parity regulations:
“This is an historic day for Americans living with substance use and mental health conditions. After a long fight to achieve parity, millions of Americans will now have access to a full continuum of mental health care that they need. The final parity standards issued today apply to individuals that work for large employers as well as all individual and small group plans, whether offered on the Marketplace or not. This is a huge victory for people living with mental health needs and for the nation as a whole. The full implementation of parity rules will move this country toward a more comprehensive approach to treating the whole person, mind and body.”