A Long Struggle for Mental Health Parity
In their National Law Journal article, “A Long Struggle for Mental Health Parity,” Zuckerman Spaeder LLP partners D. Brian Hufford and Jason S. Cowart address the concern that health insurers are failing to comply with the mental health parity requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other legislation. The two attorneys recount the history of advocacy and legislation aimed at making mental health care more accessible and provided on equal terms with physical health care. They discuss legislative efforts to prohibit insurance discrimination against mental health conditions, including the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 and the 2008 Federal Parity Act—which was applied by the ACA to non-ERISA plans, entitling all Americans to these protections. Mr. Hufford and Mr. Cowart describe three ongoing cases, which could either set necessary precedents to finally ensure mental health parity or signal the need for further legislation.