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Dr. David Ballard: October 2009 Archives

In 2008, Congress passed legislation that requires private health insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental and physical health. The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act) was passed with the intent to improve access to appropriate treatment for people suffering from mental health disorders and extend equal coverage to all aspects of health insurance plans. The act preserves existing state parity and consumer protection laws while extending protection of mental health services to those not protected by state laws. The Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act was designed to include mental health coverage for both in-network and out-of-network services. The law applies to groups with more than 50 employees and goes into effect January 1, 2010

Click here for more information and our Employer’s Guide to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

In the presentation, below, Ron Bachman, President and CEO of Healthcare Visions, Inc., reviews the basics of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and what it means for employers.

Ronald E. Bachman, F.S.A., M.A.A.A. is president and CEO of Healthcare Visions, a thought leadership firm dedicated to advancing ideas and policy initiatives that are transforming the U.S. healthcare market. He is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) and a Senior Fellow at the Wye River Group on Health. Mr. Bachman is an actuary with extensive experience in healthcare strategy for payers, providers and employers. He is a retired partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers where he consulted to a broad range of clients including: employers, HMOs, hospitals, physicians, indemnity carriers, BlueCross BlueShield plans, as well as State and Federal Agency clients. He has served as a designated expert on actuarial issues to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Labor, the National Institute of Mental Health, and was an expert resource on mental health policy to several members of Congress, including Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Pete Domenici. Mr. Bachman was instrumental in providing technical and market advice on mental health that resulted in the passage of the 2008 Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act.