A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association indicates that 89% of Americans have never heard of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act, the federal law requiring that behavioral and physical health benefits be treated equally by insurance plans. The APA survey, which was conducted in December 2010, also found that 29 percent of adults don’t know if they have adequate mental health coverage and 45 percent are unsure if their insurance plans reimburse for mental health care.
As part of the Parity Implementation Coalition, the National Council has produced several fact sheets and resources designed to educate consumers about the parity law, understand their rights under the law, and file appeals with insurance companies when they feel a claim has been unfairly denied. On the Parity page of our blog, you will find a summary of the law, a summary of federal guidelines that fill in several important details about the law, an FAQ, and a Parity Toolkit with resources to help consumers and providers appeal insurance plan denials. While you’re there, don’t forget to take our Parity IQ test to find out how well you know the law.