Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mental health parity bill update

Business Insurance reports that House and Senate negotiators have resolved the benefit related differences between the mental health parity bills that their respective chambers passed. Earlier the House backed off on its provision requiring health plans to cover all mental disorders identified by the American Psychiatric Association.

According to Business Insurance, "Negotiators now have also set the date for plans to comply with the new parity requirements at Jan. 1 of the first calendar year after the date of enactment." I hope that's an error because if this account is accurate then the new requirements would apply to health plans, including FEHB plans, on January 1, 2009, if the bill is enacted this year. 2010 would be much more reasonable in my view for such a major change. The negotiators now are turning to the pay go provisions adopted by the House that the Administration has threatened to veto. Stay tuned.

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