Mental health and substance use disorder benefits expanded

Mental health and substance use disorder benefits expanded
In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(HealthDay)—In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The new rule outlines standards for a core package of benefits (essential health benefits). In addition, the rule expands mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.

According to the report, the rule expands coverage to in three ways: by including mental health and substance use disorders as essential health benefits; by applying federal parity protections to these benefits in the individual and small groups markets; and by providing quality health care, including coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services to more Americans. The rule also finalized a benchmark-based approach, which allows states to choose a benchmark plan from options offered in the market. In addition, beginning in 2014, plans that cover essential health benefits must cover a specific percentage of the costs, known as actuarial value. This will allow consumers to compare insurance plans. The will also limit the annual amount of cost sharing across health plans.

"The Act helps people get the health insurance they need," , U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, said in a statement. "People all across the country will soon find it easier to compare and enroll in health plans with better coverage, greater quality, and new benefits."

More information: More Information

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mental-health parity can cut costs

Dec 24, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Implementation of the Mental Health Parity Act could save tens, possibly hundreds of billions of dollars and prevent needless suffering. The federal government has promised further guidance about how the ...

HHS details overhaul rules and required benefits

Nov 20, 2012

The Obama administration is strengthening the prescription drug coverage that will be available to the millions of people who will start getting insurance through the nation's health care overhaul.

Recommended for you

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.