State laws mandating or regulating mental health benefits


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To view State specific information visit org, and on the right hand side of the page enter "mental health parity" then select "State Laws Mandating or Regulating Mental Health Benefits".) The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA) provided that large group health plans cannot impose annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits that are less favorable than any such limits imposed on medical/surgical benefits.

MHPAEA preserves the MHPA protections and adds significant new protections, such as extending the parity requirements to substance use disorders.

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is a federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits.

MHPAEA originally applied to group health plans and group health insurance coverage and was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the “Affordable Care Act”) to also apply to individual health insurance coverage.

Like the statute, it does not require group health plans to provide MH/SUD benefits.