Parity Gets Another Boost from the Federal Government

Federal officials are taking new steps to address unfinished business with the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010.  The AHCA mandated conformity with earlier legislation that requires insurance companies to provide parity between mental health and medical/surgical services and reimbursement for them.

Those in need of mental health services found many obstacles to implementation of the law.   Categorized as “quantitative” issues are higher co-payments and deductibles and shorter periods of coverage for episodes of mental illness.  Among “non-quantitative” problems are prior approval requirements, lack of enough mental health personnel in insurance networks, and lower reimbursement to psychiatrists and other mental health personnel for comparable treatment.

A new guide will help consumers determine if an insurance company has unfairly denied mental health or substance abuse services.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions will also help them understand parity requirements.  Click here for the official report.  Click here for a summary from the Kaiser Health Network.

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