November 6, 2020

Updated Tool To Check Mental Health Parity Compliance

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced the release of an updated tool to help employers comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and related requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The self-compliance tool will help plan sponsors and other parties determine if a group health plan complies with provisions of the laws relating to mental health and substance-use disorder benefits.

Last updated in 2018, the new tool provides additional information and incorporates feedback from stakeholders.

Highlights of the Updated Tool

  • Integrates recent FAQ guidance, including requirements for non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs).
  • Provides additional examples of treatment limitations that may operate as warning signs of potential parity violations.
  • Revises examples and illustrations of non-compliance.
  • Includes best practices for establishing an internal MHPAEA compliance plan.

As a reminder, the MHPAEA applies to employers with 51 or more employees who sponsor a group health plan that provides Mental Health or Substance Use Disorder benefits. (Insurance companies offering coverage in the small employer (50 or less) market are also generally subject to the MHPAEA.)

Note that retiree-only group health plans, self-insured non-federal governmental plans that have elected to exempt the plan from MPHAEA, and group health plans offering only excepted benefits, are generally not subject to the MHPAEA parity requirements. The MHPAEA also contains an increased cost exemption available to group health plans that meet the requirements for the exemption.

To use the new tool and learn more about the MHPAEA, see your ComplianceDashboard.

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