U.S. Agencies Seek Input on Mental Parity Law

By Staff Report

May. 1, 2009

The Labor Department is asking for public comments as it and two other federal agencies prepare to develop rules for a law that requires employers to offer the same level of insurance coverage for mental health disorders as they do for other medical conditions.

The 2008 mental health care parity law takes effect next year.

Information sought by the agencies—the Labor Department, Treasury Department and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—includes: the financial impact of upgrading health care plans to comply with the mandate; which provisions in the law require clarification from regulators; how out-of-network coverage for mental disorders differs from out-of-network coverage for other medical conditions; and whether any special consideration should be given to small employers.

The request for comments was published in the April 28 edition of the Federal Register.

Comments are due by May 28 and can be sent via e-mail to the Labor Department at E-OHPSCA.EBSA@dolgov.

Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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