KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Insurers Bringing Plans Into Compliance With New Mental Health Rules

The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are bringing their insurance plans in compliance with new rules and laws that make mental health and substance abuse insurance coverage available to millions of Americans.

"The law, called the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, ensures that employees receive the same level of mental-health benefits as they do for medical and surgical care. It bans a plan from using deductibles for the treatment of mental-health disorders or substance abuse that are different from ones for medical and surgical care. And there can no longer be limits on treatment if no limits on medical and surgical care are in place as well." Analysts say the additional cost to insurers will likely be 1.5 percent annually, and employers seem to be keeping the benefit though the law doesn't require them to (Mincer, 2/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.