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51+: Mental Health Parity Updates

Jul 02, 2010

This information pertains to Large Group Employers (51+ employees) *


Advance Notice - The following information will be emailed to all Large Group Employers the afternoon of July 1, 2010.

Recent updates to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHP) impact you and your employees. The federal Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services issued interim final regulations clarifying the parity requirements for mental health and substance use disorder benefits. These regulations build upon the existing parity requirements established by the MHP. 

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHP) was originally enacted in 2008 and became effective for plan years beginning on and after October 3, 2009. The updates required by the new regulations prohibit group health plans that provide mental health and/or substance use disorder benefits (MHSA) from applying "financial requirements" or "treatment limits" that are more restrictive than the "predominant" financial requirement or treatment limit that applies to "substantially all" medical/surgical benefits. 

Highlights of the recent updates

Pre-service review of facility-based stays and professional visits after the 12th visit will still be required. 

Anthem Blue Cross wants to assure you that they have taken all steps to comply with the requirements of these federal regulations, beginning with renewals on July 1, 2010 or after, as the regulations become effective. 

All administrative changes have been put into place to ensure that enrollees' benefits are processed in accordance with the new requirements. Benefit summaries have been updated to reflect the updates and are available from your broker or Anthem sales representative.  

Your plan Certificate or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) containing the updates will not be available until a later date, due to state regulatory filing and approval requirements, document production considerations and the effective date of the regulations. Updated Certificates or EOCs will be available after your next renewal.   

Anthem Blue Cross appreciates your continued trust and loyalty. If you have any questions, please contact your b&p Groups Sales Representative

*does not apply to clients without mental health coverage.

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