Cover Story

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 will:

  • Require that all health insurance plans that offer mental health coverage provide that coverage on par with financial and treatment coverage offered for other physical illnesses.

  • Extend to all aspects of plan coverage, including day/visit limits, dollar limits, co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

  • Ensure parity coverage for both in-network and out-of-network services.

  • Preserve stronger state parity and consumer protection laws while extending parity protection to 82 million people who are not protected by state laws.

The law does not mandate that group plans must provide mental health coverage if they don't already offer it, but it will improve coverage for about 113 million Americans. The measure also includes a small business exemption for companies with fewer than 51 employees.