Federal Mental Health Parity Moving Forward
The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report carried a news item yesterday stating that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will soon pass out favorably federal mental health parity legislation. It will then be considered by the full Senate where prospects for passage are good. These statutes have been popular in state legislatures and the great majority of states, 40, have some form of statute on their books preventing insurers from providing lower levels of coverage for mental illnesses than they do for physical illnesses. The degree of mandated benefit these statutes provide differs much from state to state. Some are quite solid and others fairly easy for employers and insurers to circumvent. But the new makeup of Congress, together with President Bush’s expressed willingness to sign mental health parity legislation, make if pretty likely we’ll see some action in this area. Thanks to Dave Baker at Benefits Link for the heads up on this.