Release of Final Regulations Lauded as landmark Step for those With Addiction and Mental Illness
WASHINGTON, D.C.—November 8, 2013—Members of the Parity Implementation Coalition, a group of addiction and mental health consumer and provider organizations committed to the implementation of the 2008 parity law, are pleased that the Secretaries of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury today released final regulations implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
“Five years after the enactment of MHPAEA, today begins the next chapter on a course that my father and many others set out on nearly two decades ago – to ensure that Americans with mental illness have equal access to health care,” said David Wellstone, the son of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, an internationally recognized civil and mental health rights activist.
Andrew Sperling, Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said, “While we are pleased these rules improve access to care for those with commercial insurance, we are disappointed today’s rule does not apply to Medicaid Managed Care, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and alternative benefits plans and we hope to see the forthcoming guidance from the Administration on this important issue within 6 months.”
Mark Mishek, President and CEO of the national non-profit addiction treatment provider Hazelden, said, “We are encouraged by today’s action and look forward to working with the Administration and health plans to ensure the significant improvement in access to residential services envisioned in the final rule becomes a reality for individuals and families who need addiction and mental health treatment.”
Please click here for an initial summary of the final rule.