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Mental Health and Substance Use Parity

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Parity Act) requires insurance benefits for mental health or substance use disorders to be treated as equally as other health benefits.

Parity requires health plans that cover mental health or substance use disorder services to provide the same level of coverage for those services as is provided for other health care services, with respect to the following:

  • Annual and lifetime limits on coverage;
  • Financial requirements: deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, out-of-pocket expenses;
  • Treatment limitations: limits on the frequency of treatment, number of visits, days of coverage, or other similar limits on the scope or duration of treatment; and
  • Availability of coverage for benefits provided by out-of-network providers.

Sadly, parity has still not been achieved, and many states to not require oversight of the Act. However, all states to have a way for providers and patients to report parity violations. View a listing by state here as well as additional resources for you to learn more.

List compiled and created by APNA Council for Mental Health Advocacy 2021.