ASAM Applauds Release of Final Parity Regulations

by Alexis Geier-Horan | November 8, 2013

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauds the Secretaries of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury for releasing final regulations that implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

ASAM, in partnership with many other mental health and addiction patient and provider groups, has advocated for the issuance of regulations that fully implement the 2008 parity law. “MHPAEA intended to level the playing field by equalizing coverage for mental health and addiction disorders with that provided for other chronic diseases,” says ASAM President, Dr. Stuart Gitlow. “ASAM thanks the Administration for issuing regulations that bring us significantly closer to this reality.”

The final MHPAEA regulations apply to large employer-based plans and, as per the Affordable Care Act, all federally qualified health plans offered through the new health insurance marketplaces. The final rules do not apply to Medicare, Medicaid managed care or alternative benefit Medicaid plans.


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  1. Beth Haynes Dec 18, 2013 - 02:20 PM
    ASAM is also very concerned with this issue. The final rule does not apply to Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Alternative
    Benefit Plans (i.e. Medicaid Expansion Plans under the ACA) even though the rule states the statute applies to these entities. As stated, the January 2013 CMS State Health Official Letter will continue to govern implementation of
    Medicaid managed care parity. The final rule states more guidance on this will be forthcoming. The PIC will be requesting this additional Medicaid guidance be
    issued within 180 days. A different law applies some parity standard to Medicare which is, in part, why it’s not covered by MHPAEA  ASAM will continue to work with the larger Parity Implementation Coalition to solicit guidance from CMS re: Medicaid parity.


  2. Cameron Duffy Nov 10, 2013 - 10:32 PM

    In my state of West Virginia, the inequality and bias of the Medicaid program against substance abuse patients is worse than what I have experienced with private insurers.  Why are the parity rules not appicable to Medicaid and Medicare?

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