House Weighs Giving Parity To Mental Health

Mental health parity has resurfaced as a legislative initiative. The U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations held a hearing on March 13 on the legislation.

The bill would require that insurers' level of mental health coverage be on a par with physical health coverage. Access and costs, including deductibles, would be the same.

This is an expansion of the mental health parity law passed in 1996 that prohibited insurers from instituting annual and lifetime payment ceilings for mental health benefits, though the law's wording allowed payers to retain limits on the number of annual visits to mental health practitioners. Eliminating the payment ceiling had the greatest effect on indemnity insurers, which, unlike managed care plans, do not have the flexibility to limit visits to providers.

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HAP, a subsidiary of Henry Ford Health System, is a nonprofit health plan providing coverage to individuals, companies and organizations. This executive develops strategies to meet membership and revenue targets through products, pricing, market segmentation and advertising.  Aligns business among Business Development, Commercial Sales, Medicare and Public Sector Programs and Product Development. Seeks to enhance and be responsible for business development and expansion through the development of an effective product portfolio, strong interpersonal relationships and service excellence.

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