New DOL Guidance on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released two sets of FAQs regarding the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). The first set FAQ, issued on May 9, 2012, answers questions related to the implementation of the new provisions for parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits. The topics discussed include, but are not limited to, who oversees implementation, permissible definitions of mental health coverage, utilization review issues, and interaction with State mandates. The second set of FAQs, issued on May 18, 2012, provides basic information to employees about the MHPAEA. The topics discussed include, but are not limited to, new protections offered in the MHPAEA in contrast to the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, financial requirements and treatment limitations, co-pays and deductibles, and specialists. EBSA has also set up a new web page related to Mental Health Parity available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/mentalhealthparity/.
For more information about the MHPAEA, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.
By Kristina Zinnen