U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, visiting Atlanta on Friday, announced that final rules have been issued on insurance parity between mental health/substance abuse benefits and general medical benefits.
The federal rules implement the requirement in a 2008 law that health plan co-pays, deductibles and visit limits not be more restrictive for mental health than for general medical care.
Sebelius made the announcement at the 29th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, held at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
The newly implemented rules include consumer protections such as ensuring parity applies to residential treatment and care delivered in what’s known as “intensive’’ outpatient settings. The rules also bolster benefits transparency for consumers.
Sebelius praised Mrs. Carter — a former Georgia first lady and U.S. first lady — for her longtime advocacy on mental health issues, including the fight for equality of benefits.
“There’s no question that Rosalynn Carter has been an incredible leader in the mental health arena,’’ Sebelius said. full story