A study conducted and released today by Milliman, Inc. outlines the disparity of coverage between physical health and substance use disorders and mental health. NAATP joins former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Congressman Jim Ramstad in their request for Congressional Hearings to examine this inequity. Congressmen Kennedy and Ramstad were original sponsors of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA/Parity Act).
The Parity Act was passed ten years ago. The insurance industry has had more than ample time to understand and comply with the requirements of this law. The Milliman study clearly points out that inequities continue to be commonplace in terms of payment for these conditions. That is unacceptable and Congress should be furious that their intent when Parity was passed on a bi-partisan basis has been ignored.
According to NAATP CEO, Marvin Ventrell, “This study confirms what our members have known and experience regularly: Insurance companies have created inequitable barriers to addiction treatment including limits on in-network providers, delays, and significantly lower reimbursement rates. The result is that patients suffering from a life-threatening disease do not get the care they need. This has to stop.”
The National Association urges Congress to carefully review the data released by Milliman and to schedule hearings to examine the improper practices it reveals. It also would provide an opportunity to focus on existing legislation that would address this travesty. Those bills include HR 2874, which would require transparency when parity decisions are made and HR 2848, which would provide for monetary penalties when Parity violations occur.
NAATP stands ready to assist Congress should they choose to hold hearings. Congress should shine a bright light on these substance use disorder treatment limitations and their devastating impact on millions of Americans.