Final Parity Rule Issued

Scales of JusticeOn Friday, November 8, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

The final rule includes specific additional consumer protections, such as:

  • Ensuring that parity applies to intermediate levels of care received in residential treatment or intensive outpatient settings;
  • Clarifying the scope of the transparency required by health plans, including the disclosure rights of plan participants, to ensure compliance with the law;
  • Clarifying that parity applies to all plan standards, including geographic limits, facility-type limits and network adequacy; and
  • Eliminating an exception to the existing parity rule that was determined to be confusing, unnecessary and open to abuse.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed a web page that provides links to related resources including links to the final rule, fact sheets, a SAMHSA webinar on parity, and links to frequently asked questions.

See related article on parity from Behavioral Healthcare: Strong final rule for parity means big strides for residential, out-of-state treatment available at:

Source: The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration – November 8, 2013