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The Mental Health Parity Laws

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits. MHPAEA supplements prior provisions under the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA), which required parity with respect to aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits for mental health benefits.

Effective Date and Employer Coverage

MHPAEA applies to health plans sponsored by private and public sector employers with more than 50 employees, including self-insured as well as fully insured arrangements. MHPAEA also applies to health insurance issuers who sell coverage to employers with more than 50 employees.


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