Final Rule to Implement Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Issued
HHS Secretary Sebelius announced the issuing of the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) on November 8, 2013. The announcement was made at the 29th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, at which APNA President Pat Cunningham was present.
Signed by President George W. Bush in 2008, the MHPAEA requires that insurers treat mental illness and substance use disorders the same as other physical illnesses. This final rule clarifies the scope of services that insurers must provide, ensuring that features such as co-pays, deductibles, and visit limits are in general no more restrictive for mental health/substance use disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits.