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A Discussion on the Potential Impact of Mental Health Parity on Children’s Mental Health

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 from 1:00 - 2:30 PM E.S.T.

Audio Playback



On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which included the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 as an amendment. This law significantly expands upon the mental health protections of the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996. This Act will protect over 113 million people across the U.S., including 82 million individuals enrolled in ERISA group health insurance plans. This law helps to lay the foundation for ending the unequitable provision of mental health and substance use disorder benefits compared to general health benefits.

On Jan. 29th, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury released an interim final rule (IFR) providing guidance on how the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act must be implemented. The IFR is online at http://www.dol.gov/federalregister/PdfDisplay.aspx?DocId=23511.

This webinar will provide an overview of the major components of the regulations, including such areas as:

  1. An explanation of which health plans are subject to the law;
  2. How the regulations define treatment limitations and the new standards that health plans must meet regarding mental health and addiction services;
  3. The prohibition on health plans from instituting separate deductibles, copayments, and out‐of‐pocket limits for MH/SU and medical/surgical benefits. Any deductibles, copayments, and out‐of‐pocket limits required by the plan must be integrated and cumulative for all services; and
  4. How enforcement will be handled by the federal government.

This webinar will provide you with an overview of your new rights under this law, as well as strategies for obtaining the mental health and addiction services that you or your loved ones need.


Rebecca Farley, Policy Associate, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Henry Harbin, MD, Healthcare Consultant and Former CEO and Chairman of Magellan Health (1998-2003)