So, whatever happened to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA)?
The federal departments in charge of implementing the MHPAEA — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Labor Department and the U.S. Treasury Department — put the law into effect with temporary regulations back in July 2010.
For federal agencies, implementation of the MHPAEA has been a kind of dress rehearsal for the even more sweeping Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Two former House members who helped shepherd the MHPAEA bill through Congress — Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Jim Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican — say they will be pushing for the agencies to release final MHPAEA regulations, and also holding a series of “parity field hearings” to hear testimony about how the law is really working.
The lawmakers plan to start the road show April 26 in Kalamazoo, Mich., and end it in September in New York.
President Bush signed the bill into law during his last year in office.
The law does not require an employer to offer coverage for mental health or substance use disorders.