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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Is mental health 'parity' law fulfilling its promise?

By Jenny Gold
Kaiser Health News/CNN
Originally posted on September 20, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

The so-called parity law, which was intended to equalize coverage of mental and other medical conditions, has gone a long way toward eliminating obvious discrepancies in insurance coverage. Research shows, for instance, that most insurers have dropped annual limits on the therapy visits that they will cover. Higher copayments and separate mental health deductibles have become less of a problem.

But many insurers have continued to limit treatment through other strategies that are harder to track, according to researchers, attorneys and other critics. Among the more murky areas is "medical necessity" review -- in which insurers decide whether a patient requires a certain treatment and at what frequency.

Kamins is among a small group of people around the country to file lawsuits alleging federal or state parity laws were violated when patients with mental illness were held to a stricter "medical necessity" standard than those with other medical conditions.

The entire article is here.
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