The Obama administration has released the final rule on essential health benefits, which sets the parameters for the types of benefits that must be offered by insurers starting in 2014. As reported in a story in The Hill, "the new regulations also close a major gap in coverage for people suffering from mental health or drug problems. Prior to the rule, almost 20 percent of people purchasing insurance did not have access to mental health services, and nearly a third had no substance abuse disorder benefits, the agency said."
Okay Network faithful, in this case, health skepticism is good. Remember, parity is a wonderful thing, but quality of care provided is equally important. That will be our primary focus as things move forward.
In related news...
SAMHSA has just released an issue brief on parity from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here is the text of their announcement:
- The Affordable Care Act builds on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to extend federal parity protections to 62 million Americans. The parity law aims to ensure that when coverage for mental health and substance use conditions is provided, it is generally comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care. The Affordable Care Act builds on the parity law by requiring coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits for millions of Americans in the individual and small group markets who currently lack these benefits, and expanding parity requirements to apply to millions of Americans whose coverage did not previously comply with those requirements.
- Download the report here.