NAMI report finds insurance discrimination, lack of transparency under parity laws

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Sharing this important press release from our friends at NAMI

Health insurance plans are falling short in coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions according to a report issued today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), based on a survey of 2,720 consumers and an analysis of 84 insurance plans in 15 states.

A federal “parity” law enacted in 2008 requires mental health benefits in some employer-sponsored plans to be provided on the same terms as other medical care.  Coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.

“Despite the law, discrimination still exists toward mental health and substance use conditions,” said NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti. “Progress is being made, but there is still a long road ahead. NAMI’s report identifies areas where insurance companies need to improve and greater scrutiny is needed.”

See www.nami.org/parityreport for:

The report findings include:

The report is based on a “Coverage for Care” survey of 2,720 individuals with mental illness or their family members. Survey results were supplemented by an analysis of 84 health insurance plan drug formularies in 15 states conducted by Avalere Health.

The report makes four recommendations:

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