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Re: mental health coverage will change in 2010 Abby Cunningham

Posted by lucie lu on January 12, 2009, at 12:24:15

In reply to Re: mental health coverage will change in 2010 lucie lu, posted by Abby Cunningham on January 12, 2009, at 7:59:34

Hi Abby,

I know you live in central MA and that the state already has a parity law on the books. I like to think it was a pretty progressive move in itself. But (and most people don't know this), there are loopholes! Any institution or company that is considered self-funding is exempt from the state MH parity law. Self or privately insured exployer plans provide services through the major insurers, e.g. BC/BS, but the institution, rather than the insurer, provides the actual funds that are paid out to the doctor. This is really an accounting thing and not something the patient would even know about, i.e. it is invisible to the policy holder. Unfortunately there are more than a few large employers in the state who are thus exempt from parity and so retain special limits on MH visits and treatment that are otherwise illegal in the state. You'd be very surprised to know some of the employers who have allowed this. It is inequitable and really indefensible in my view. So the federal law will supercede state laws, closing loopholes like this one in MA and providing MH parity for all the states across the board. Thankfully.




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