This post was written by Rachel Cutler Shim, John D. Martini, Dennis R. Bonessa, William H. Nichols and Laurie S. DuChateau.
On January 29, 2010, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury jointly issued interim final regulations implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“MHPAEA”). The MHPAEA, as implemented by the interim final regulations, greatly expands the parity standards of its predecessor, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (“MHPA 1996”). The MHPAEA, as implemented by the interim final regulations, expands on the requirements of the MHPA 1996 and introduces new rules that prohibit group health plans from creating disparities between medical/surgical benefits and mental health benefits, as well as substance-use disorder benefits. To learn more about how MHPAEA impacts group health plans, read our full alert.