National Alliance on Mental Illness
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parity webinar

Webinar Recording: What You Need To Know About the New Mental Health and Substance Abuse Insurance Parity Law

In October, President Bush signed into law the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The new law requires group health plans to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment with the same terms and conditions as medical-surgical benefits.

This will mean that health plans will not be allowed to impose limits on covered inpatient days or outpatient visits for psychiatric treatment that do not also apply to medical coverage. In addition, health plans will be prevented from imposing financial limitations on mental illness or substance abuse treatment such as separate deductibles or higher cost sharing that do not also apply to medical benefits.

H.R. 1424, Subtitle B - Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity
and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, section 512.

This webinar reviews the major provisions of the new law including

  • the specific standards related to equitable coverage,

  • types of group health plans covered under the law,

  • the scope of mental health and substance abuse benefits,

  • the new law's effective date, and

  • how the new law will interact with existing state parity and mandated benefit laws.

-- Supported by a grant from Wyeth Pharmecuticals --


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Andrew Sperling
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Andrew Sperling is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

Pamela Greenberg
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Pamela Greenberg is the President and CEO of the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW – formerly the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association). 

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