‘Mental Health Parity’ Is Still an Elusive Goal in U.S. Insurance Coverage

June 10, 2019

(NPR) – Many patients, like Bacon, struggle to get insurance coverage for their mental health treatment, even though two federal laws were designed to bring parity between mental and physical health care coverage. Recent studies and a legal case suggest serious disparities remain. The 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act required large group health plans that provide benefits for mental health problems to put that coverage on an equal footing with physical illness. Two years later, the Affordable Care Act required small-group and individual health plans sold on the insurance marketplaces to cover mental health services, and do so at levels comparable with medical services.