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  1. Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act of 2008, a group health plan (or insurer) generally cannot impose a financial requirement (e.g., copayment, deductible, or coinsurance) or a quantitative treatment limitation (e.g., number of inpatient days covered) on mental health or substance abuse benefits that is more restrictive than the requirements or limitations that apply to at least 2/3 of medical/surgical benefits in the same classification (e.g., in-patient, emergency care, prescription drugs). Under these rules, mental health and substance abuse benefits should be subject to the same deductible as comparable medical/surgical benefits. I recently have seen health plans drafted by insurance companies (whether it is an insured or self-insured plan) that provide the same deductibles for mental health and substance abuse benefits as for medical/surgical benefits, but treat the deductibles differently for purposes of rollover. For example, the plan provides that costs incurred in the last two months of the plan year for medical/surgical benefits may be applied toward the deductible in the following plan year, but costs incurred for mental health and substance abuse benefits in the last two months of a plan year will NOT be applied to the deductible in the following plan year. This appears to be illegal to me -- certainly it seems to violate spirit of the Act and guidance issued to date, but I haven't seen anything (such as A FAQ) directly on point. Any thoughts?
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