February 14, 2017
Authored by: Chris Rylands and Serena Yee
While on this day, most people focus on the heart, we’re going to spend a little time focusing on the head. Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), health plans generally cannot impose more stringent “non-quantitative” treatment limitations on mental health and substance abuse benefits (we will use “mental health” for short) than they impose on medical/surgical benefits. The point of the rule is to prevent plans from imposing standards (pre-approval/precertification or medical necessity, as two examples) that make it harder for participants to get coverage for mental health benefits than medical/surgical benefits. “Non-quantitative” has been synonymous with “undeterminable” and “unmeasurable”, so to say that this is a “fuzzy” standard is an understatement.
However, we are not without some hints as to the Labor Department’s views on how