New Georgetown Report Reviews State Efforts to Enforce Mental Health Parity

By JoAnn Volk, Rachel Schwab, Maanasa Kona, and Emma Walsh-Alker

The United States is in a behavioral health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. As more individuals and families need behavioral health care, they face significant barriers to treatment. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) was enacted to remove insurance-related obstacles to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, but inadequate compliance has raised questions about health plan enrollees’ ability to access these crucial services.

In a new issue brief supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHIR experts review MHPAEA oversight and enforcement in five states—Arizona, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington—to understand the challenges states face and identify opportunities for improvement. The brief focuses on enforcement of parity requirements for “non-quantitative” treatment limits that insurers impose on enrollees, such as prior authorization requirements and medical necessity determinations.

You can read the full report here.

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