House passes mental health parity bill

While the measure is still far from the finish line, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a mental health parity bill, a victory that mental health advocates have been fighting to see for about a decade. The House bill requires that if a plan provides mental health coverage, it must cover illnesses and addictions listed by the standard manual of the mental health profession, American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Meanwhile, the Senate has already passed a bill which mandates that insurers must pay for mental health benefits, but gives them some flexibility in what they must cover. Now, the two sides must see if they can work out a compromise between the more-limited Senate measure and the expansive House bill, which is backed by Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.).

To learn more about the mental health parity issue:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
Federal mental health parity measure faces roadblocks. Report
Competing mental health parity bills duke it out. Report
Mental health coverage still not equal. Report
Mental health parity bill moves ahead. Report

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