Industry groups urge Senate to reject new mental health parity penalties

Seven industry groups, including the American Benefits Council, the H.R. Policy Association, the ERISA Industry Committee, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have written a letter to the members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee urging them to reject proposals to create a new civil monetary penalty pursuant to the mental health parity (MHP) rules. The letter states that “creating a new penalty regime at this time is unwarranted, and may in fact result in a decline in, rather than an improvement in, mental health benefits for patients.

The letter goes on to state, “Given the complexity of understanding MHP compliance obligations, issuance of the compliance program guidance mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act is critical. Creation of new civil monetary penalties will neither enhance compliance nor address perceived shortcomings in enforcement.”

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