Mental Health Parity

For the latest advocacy and policy news on Mental Health Parity, visit Behavioral Health advocacy resources.


The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) Mental Health and SUD Parity Resources for States, January 2017

What’s Confusing Us About Mental Health Parity, December 2016

Approaches in Implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Best Practices From the States, August 2016

CMCS Technical Assistance Resource mailbox for Parity Final Rule (Email:, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, July 2016

Health Insurance for Addiction and Mental Health Care: A Guide to the Federal Parity Law, Legal Action Center, June 2016

SAMHSA issues mental health parity resource; task force accepting comments

HHS's Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force

HHS's Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, implementation of the Act, and the history of federal parity policies

Parity of Mental Health and Substance Use Benefits with Other Benefits: Using Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan to Cover Services, February 2016

Miller, B.F., Nowels, M.A., vanderWielen, L.M., and others. (2016). Mental health parity’s limited impact on utilization and access for health plan beneficiaries, Issue Brief [Health Care Cost Institute].

Parity Efforts Reviewed in Four States:  The Parity Implementation Coalition has issued a fact sheet on parity implementation efforts underway in the state of Washington. The report is one of a series looking at “promising practices in state implementation of The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and parity in the Affordable Care Act.” Snapshots from Connecticut, New York, and California are also available.

Parity Report from DOL:  The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a report to Congress, “Improving Health Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Patients: Including Compliance with the Federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Provisions”. According to the report, some of the most common types of violations include imposing broad preauthorization requirements only on mental health or substance use disorder benefits, imposing more restrictive visit limits on mental health/substance use disorder benefits, and requiring written treatment plans to access care (only) for mental health services. A separate consumer pamphlet on MHPAEA was released by the DOL and DHHS.

Parity Implementation Coalition (PIC), which AHA supports, issued a news release applauding “two recent developments that provide important new tools to assist plan participants with receiving addiction and mental health benefits as guaranteed under the [federal] parity law.”

Health Affairs Health Policy Brief: Enforcing Mental Health Parity

A new policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks at the issue of enforcing mental health parity five years after the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) took effect. It significantly updates the previous health policy brief on mental health parity, released on April 3, 2014. That brief examined the evolution of the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) and changes in mental health parity brought about by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This brief focuses on how MHPAEA is being enforced, a process that has not always been consistent.

United States Department of Labor: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXIX) and Mental Health Parity Implementation - aims to be the central site for mental health and substance use disorder parity information for multiple audiences. The project examines the current state of parity implementation across the country through the Parity Reports, which analyze legislation, regulatory actions, and litigation at the federal and state levels. It also offers a comprehensive report on federal activity.

Parity Implementation Coalition & The Kennedy Forum Release Parity Resource Guide

Parity Resource Guide for Addiction & Mental Health Consumers, Providers and Advocates

MHLG Report: A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care

DHHS Report on Employer & Health Plan Benefits with the Parity Law

Mental Health Parity Consumer Tools – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Mental Health Parity Tools from the American Psychological Association

2015 Employers Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act – American Psychiatric Association

Health Affairs and RWJF Health Policy Brief: Mental Health Parity

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) Final Rule

SAMHSA Resources on Final Parity Rule

AHA Regulatory Advisory: Final Rule on Mental Health Parity (December 11, 2013)

AHA Special Bulletin: Administration Releases Final Rule On Mental Health Parity

Interim Final Rule – Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA)

Parity Implementation Coalition – Understanding the Law

U.S. Department of Labor – Parity Guidance & FAQs

GAO Report 2011:  Employers’ Insurance Coverage Maintained or Enhanced Since Parity Act, but Effect of Coverage on Enrollees Varied

Health Care Cost Institute Report 2013:  The Impact of MHPAEA on Inpatient Admissions


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