NACo submits comment on proposed Mental Health Parity Rule
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?
NACo Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Launched in February 2023, the NACo Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing brings together county leaders from across the nation to take action to address the ever-growing mental health crisis from the county government perspective.
On November 13, members of NACo's Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The Commission called on Congress to support counties in delivering high-quality, assessible mental health services to address residents' comprehensive behavioral health needs in any mental health legislation package.
Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership.
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