February 8th, 2010, 3:42 PM
News & Releases

The final rules of the Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act will go into effect on April 5, and will be applicable to insurance plan years that begin on or after July 1.

The parity law does not require health plans to cover addiction or mental illness, or any specific types of treatment, but mandates that plans which do include such benefits treat these conditions on par with other illnesses. According to the law, group health insurance plans may not limit benefits or impose higher patient costs for addiction and mental health treatment than those applying to general medical or surgical benefits.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "The rules we are issuing today will, for the first time, help assure that those diagnosed with these debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disorders will not suffer needless or arbitrary limits on their care."

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