The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury recently released their 2022 Report to Congress on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. (MHPAEA ) The report includes findings that health insurance plans are still not providing parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits to consumers.
MHPAEA requires that insurance coverage for mental health or substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than that of medical and surgical benefits. However, the report provides examples of continuing disparities, including an instance of an insurance company covering nutritional counseling for conditions such as diabetes but not for conditions such anorexia or binge-eating disorder.
In response, the report also provides information on the departments' recent emphasis on greater MHPAEA enforcement as well as makes recommendations to strengthen protections for consumers.
The report outlines the Departments' efforts to enforce the amendments to MHPAEA made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. The act provided the departments with an important new MHPAEA enforcement tool and additional funding to implement it. The law also requires the departments to report findings annually.
Ongoing efforts to engage with stakeholders to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse disorders are also listed.
The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), also recently announced their 2022 Annual Mental Health Parity Report. The report, which includes information on consumer outreach activities, barriers to access and coverage in this state, and more, is required by law.