In an article published this week on TheAtlantic.com, Judith Graham writes about the significant hurdles that are preventing the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity law from being fully implemented. Ms. Graham writes:
In October 2008, Congress passed legislation designed to end longstanding insurance practices that discriminated against people with mental illness and drug and alcohol addictions. It was a landmark achievement, won after a dozen years of sustained advocacy by mental health advocates. Yet implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 has been hobbled by a lack of clear guidance from the government, and final rules governing the statute have yet to be published.
The result is significant confusion over insurance companies’ and employers’ responsibilities under the law, which currently applies to 140 million Americans who receive health insurance from organizations with more than 50 employees. In too many cases, advocates claim, consumers still face barriers to getting recommended mental health and substance abuse services.