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Administration Releases Parity Action Plan

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Administration Releases Parity Action Plan
PPU: 04.24.18

Recently the Trump Administration released its “Action Plan for Enhanced Enforcement of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage.” It is designed to highlight efforts to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity).

NAATP has long advocated for enforcement of Parity. The Administration’s plan calls for additional technical education and resources for those tasked with enforcement at the state level. The Administration has also created FAQs for consumers as well as a method to report violations.

Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Treasury Department have issued rules providing for additional transparency, compliance guidelines, and enforcement. They also indicate a more robust effort to investigate complaints.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended enhanced enforcement of Parity and suggested financial penalties for insurance company that habitually violate the law. In this report, the Administration cites lack of legislative authority to impose those types of penalties.

This week the US Senate and House of Representatives are considering legislation designed to impact the Opioid crisis and SUD. Currently a letter asking Congress to include language requiring greater enforcement of Parity is being circulated by concerned organizations, including NAATP. This would be an excellent opportunity to include authority to impose fines for repeat Parity offenders. Several Senators will be offering language to accomplish that on the Senate side.

NAATP appreciates the progress toward Parity enforcement. We are hopeful that the steps announced by the Administration will move the field toward greater compliance. This is one of our highest priorities and we will continue to push until full compliance is achieved.

Mark Dunn
NAATP Director of Public Policy
Washington, DC