Departments committed to reviewing employer plans for MHPAEA compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury (the Departments) plan to devote resources to the review of employer-sponsored health plans and the extension of widespread correction for Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) compliance, including the re-adjudication of improperly denied claims. The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Action Plan also noted that dedicated MHPAEA enforcement teams will be conducting investigations of behavioral health organizations and insurance companies for MHPAEA compliance.

MHPAEA applies to employment-based large group health plans and health insurance issuers choosing to provide mental health and substance use disorder coverage and requires that limitations on such benefits not be more restrictive than limitations on medical and surgical benefits.

The Action Plan is required by Sec. 13002 of the 21st Century Cures Act. It includes recent and planned actions from the Departments related to ongoing implementation of the MHPAEA, and is based on written comments from stakeholders and input from a public listening session held in July 2017.

Since the enactment of MHPAEA, the Action Plan noted that the Departments have been committed to enforcing the law, promoting compliance, assisting consumers, and conducting investigations of non-compliance. As one example in the Action Plan, HHS recently updated its online portal to help individuals who have questions or are having trouble accessing their mental health or SUD treatment. This portal is available at The Action Plan specified that HHS will continue to enforce parity laws and help consumers access mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.

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