Mental Health Parity

Glossary of Terms: Mental Health Parity/ Equality in Mental and Physical Health Coverage

Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 became law in 1997.  The landmark law received unprecedented bipartisan support and ended the long-held practice of providing less insurance coverage for mental illnesses or brain disorders than is provided for equally serious physical disorders.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) became law in 2008 and requires health insurers to cover both mental and physical health equally.  The act closes several of the loopholes left by the 1996 Mental Health Parity Act and extends equal coverage to all aspects of health insurance plans, including day and visit limits, dollar limits, coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.  Learn more about the law and how it affects your coverage.


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