This week the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury issued their biennium 2022 Report to Congress on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). The MHPAEA is a federal law that requires insurance coverage for mental health conditions/substance use disorders (SUD) to be no more restrictive than insurance coverage for other medical/surgical conditions.
Insurance Coverage Falling Short for Mental Health
The report includes information indicating health plans and health insurance issuers are “failing to deliver parity” for mental health/SUD coverage. For example, insurance issuers covering nutritional counseling for diabetes, but not for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. This is especially disturbing during the COVID-19 pandemic when access to mental health support is so critical. The report also calls attention to the departments’ emphasis on enforcing the MHPAEA and correcting the failures to provide parity.
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, is a champion of the 2022 Report to Congress. And as a vocal person in recovery himself, his endorsement goes a long way toward reducing stigma. Likewise, his pledge to make enforcement of the MHPAEA a personal priority gives hope to those who need their insurance benefits to adequately cover mental health conditions.
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, says:
The report’s findings clearly indicate that health plans and insurance companies are falling short of providing parity in mental health and substance-use disorder benefits, at a time when those benefits are needed like never before. The pandemic is having a negative impact on the mental health of people in the U.S. and driving a rise in substance use. As a person in recovery, I know firsthand how important access to mental health and substance-use disorder treatment is. Enforcement of this law is a top priority for the Department of Labor and an objective I take personally.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh
For the Complete 2022 MHPAEA Report Click Below:
For the NPR Interview with U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh