Government Report Finds Substance Abuse Treatment Stable Under Parity Act

The Mental Health Parity Act, which requires employers offering mental health and substance abuse services to offer those services at the same level as other health-related services, has largely been a success, a new government report finds.

According to Targeted News Service, the report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 96 percent of employers who responded to the government survey offered coverage of treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions both in the current plan year and in 2008, before the law was passed.

The report, “Mental Health and Substance Use: Employers’ Insurance Coverage Maintained or Enhanced Since Parity Act, but Effect of Coverage on Enrollees Varied,” found approximately two percent of employers reported offering coverage for only mental health conditions but not substance use disorders for the current plan year and for 2008. In addition, about two percent of employers said they discontinued their coverage of treatment for both mental health and substance use, or only substance use disorders, in the current plan year.

The report concludes most employers made the changes in their plans that were required by the law.

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    March 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Are you for real with this statement? I’ve been on Methadone for more than 20 years, without interruption, I have yet to find a single health insurance company that helps with a single penny of coverage with my costs, at a licensed/state federal recognized clinic. Their refusals, Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the years 2008-2010 (claims filed after parity) & United Healthcare, year 2010/part of 2011, through my employer, were, according to them, was due to pre-existing conditions to just plain denials that they absolutely do not cover opiate maintenance. In fact when I requested my plan benefit summary document, which is a detailed explination of your policy and what is NOT covered…on almost the last page of more than 100, there it was MMT. ie; Methadone Maintenance Treatment. It was not open for discussion, I tried to call and talk to the “Behavioral / Addiction people, when I mentioned Parity, they actually laughed, out loud..saying that Pairty had absolutely nothing to do with methadone. SO…I’m not sure where Your facts come from, but mine are from real life, I promise you!
    I am 55 this year, I was forced to cut my health insurance because I could not financially afford to pay for insurance that would not help in any way with the one and only claim I ever Filed. The monthly cost for my methadone and the insurance was 2 weeks pay…can you live on two weeks pay a month….me either.
    This of course is not to say that there aren’t policies that cover, it’s just that those policies cost so much, if you can afford them….you certainly would not need any assistance paying for the Methadone!

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