The current bill, which will be voted on by the House on Wednesday, doesn't require insurers to provide coverage for mental health treatments, but it mandates that any mental health coverage provided by an insurer cannot be more restrictive, in any way, than the treatment it provides for medical and surgical benefits.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
After more than a decade of delay, Congress appears ready to pass a bill to boost insurance coverage for the treatment of mental illnesses. The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 is designed to improve upon the Mental Health Parity Act passed in 1996 by the former senator after which it is named. While, the bill from '96 barred insurers from setting lower dollar limits on mental health treatment than on other kinds of treatment, it left open the possibility of insurers putting other kinds of restrictions on mental health treatment coverage.