Government News
New Federal Parity Law Detailed
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 21 page 4-4

Here are some details about the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to help APA members and their patients better understand how the law may impact them. This information was provided by APA's Department of Government Relations (DGR).

According to DGR Director Nicholas Meyers, DGR staff will continue to work with the executive branch to implement the legislation (see Parity Victory Was Long,Winding Road). The law directs the secretary of Labor to issue guidance, in conjunction with the secretaries of Health and Human Services and Treasury, which will be widely distributed to group health plans, beneficiaries, regulatory bodies, state and local governments, and insurance commissioners to ease the transition and to inform them of the details of the legislation. APA will be working with these administrative agencies in developing this guidance to ensure that it is complete and accurate. APA will also be following any audits conducted by the government, as well as reports from the General Accountability Office, to make sure that these plans adhere to the guidance issued by the government.

Parity provisions are contained in HR 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The law is posted at<http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:h1424enr.txt.pdf>.

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