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Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Parity: equal or fair treatment

Did you know that parity in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits with medical and surgical benefits is the law?

How does parity apply to you

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is a federal law that requires the same health insurance coverage for mental health and/or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) conditions as patients would receive for coverage of medical/surgical (M/S) services. This law was adopted into Pennsylvania law in 2010.

Pennsylvania has a law, referred to as Act 106, which requires minimum coverage for alcohol and substance abuse treatment. Beyond Act 106, MHPAEA itself does not mandate insurance plans to offer mental health or substance abuse treatment benefits. However, under the Affordable Care Act, individual and small group plans must offer MH/SUD benefits. Large group plans or self-funded plans are not required to offer MH/SUD benefits, but if one of these plans does offer this coverage, the MH/SUD benefits must parallel the M/S coverage.

Learn more

Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website article What is the “Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act” and, how does it affect me? for more information.


If you have questions about your insurance coverage and parity, please call us at 717-564-4930 or 1-800-887-6422.

Posted: July 28, 2015