NACo submits comment on proposed Mental Health Parity Rule

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Key Takeaways

On October 17, NACo submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services' proposed rule to further enforce provisions under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), a sweeping mental health parity rule enacted in 2008. The rule aims to establish equitable treatment limits for mental health and substance use, in line with medical and surgical benefits.

Why counties commented on the rule:
  • Counties support ensuring mental health and substance use coverage limits are no stricter than medical and surgical benefits
  • Counties support data collection on the impact of treatment limits on access to mental health services
  • Counties support establishing rules for comparing treatment limits and detailing how plans share these analyses with departments, state authorities and participants

Additionally, NACo requested further consolidation regarding the removal of the option for self-funded non-federal government plans to opt out of MHPAEA. As written, the policy could potentially subject county health plans and governments to non-compliance penalties. 

Therefore, counties recommend the final rule:
  • Provide clear language on how third-party administrators can comply with MHPAEA when assisting counties in providing non-federal government health plans
  • Adopt a tiered penalty system that adjusts based on violation severity and frequency to boost compliance and ease financial burdens

Want to see what else NACo is doing in the fight for Mental Health Parity?

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