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Mental Health Parity Act (moved from old board)


Guest CVCalhoun
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Guest CVCalhoun

This message from "saltyfish" was moved from the old board, since it was still under discussion when the board moved:

Need some help with the Mental health parity act as it pertains to a Michigan-based municipality. Do they have to comply? Since they're exempt from ERISA, can't they waive this and/or voluntarily modify benefits? Are they eligible for the 1 percent exemption otherwise?

Thanks for your help!

[Note: This message was edited by CVCalhoun]

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Guest CVCalhoun

The Code and ERISA provisions of the Mental Health Parity Act ("MHPA") do not apply to governmental plans. However, governmental entities are subject to parallel provisions of the Public Health Service ("PHS") Act. Here is a description (from the preamble to the proposed MHPA regulations issued last December) of how the PHS provisions work:

    The MHPA provisions in the PHS Act generally apply to health insurance issuers that offer health insurance coverage in connection with group health plans and to certain State and local governmental plans. States, in the first instance, enforce the PHS Act with respect to issuers. Only if a State does not substantially enforce any provisions under its insurance laws will the Department of Health and Human Services enforce the provisions, through the imposition of civil money penalties. Moreover, no enforcement action may be taken by the Secretary of Health and Human Services against any group health plan except certain State and local governmental plans.

If you would like to see the full text of the proposed regulations, you can click here.

[Note: This message was edited by CVCalhoun]

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