Mental Health Parity Compliance
On February 2, 2010, the United States Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued "Interim Final Rules" under the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008. Under these regulations, a health plan may not apply treatment limitations or financial requirements to behavioral health benefits that are any more restrictive than the predominant treatment limitations or financial requirements applied to medical or surgical benefits. NHP, and its behavioral health partner, Beacon Health Strategies, have reviewed relevant utilization and network management policies and procedures as well as all benefit plan designs to assess parity between medical and behavioral health services. Only minor modifications have been necessary as a result of this review to ensure that NHP is in full compliance with these new regulations.
The regulations are effective on July 1, 2010, or January 1, 2011, depending on whether the product benefits are provided on a plan year or calendar year basis. Regulations apply to fully and self-insured plans with 51 or more employees, but because NHP does not differentiate its benefits or policies based on whether a group is large or small, NHP will apply these new regulations to all commercial accounts.
To read the full report on these regulations, visit the Federal Register.