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Mental Health Parity Rules and Requirements for Plan Sponsors and Administrators

Strafford

Sept. 14, 2023
Recorded Online
Webinar

DOL Enforcement Actions, Regulations, Self-Compliance Tools, Comparative Analysis, CAA Parity Disclosures

This CLE webinar will provide benefits counsel and advisers with guidance on overcoming challenges in ensuring compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) rules and requirements for plan sponsors and insurers. The panel will discuss the requirements of MHPAEA for health plans that provide mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, DOL enforcement of parity violations, and best practices for ensuring compliance with MHPAEA rules.

Description

The requirements of the MHPAEA and DOL enforcement actions provide significant challenges for plan sponsors in ensuring that their health plans remain compliant. In addition to the strict requirements under the MHPAEA, health plans providing mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits must ensure compliance with CAA requirements and IRS and DOL regulations.

In 2021 the DOL announced a $15.6 million settlement related to violations of the MHPAEA and its intent to make health plan compliance a priority in enforcement actions and audits. In addition, the Employee Benefits Security Administration commenced an audit program for compliance with MHPAEA, including making requests for the "comparative analysis" required by the CAA.

All group health plans that provide MH/SUD benefits must comply with parity rules, with limited exceptions. Benefits counsel and advisers must address the risks to plan sponsors and insurers by reassessing current health plans, adhering to the MHPAEA rules and disclosure obligations under ERISA, and other issues that result in DOL audits or class action lawsuits. Under the CAA, plan sponsors must perform and document comparative analysis of the design and application of nonquantitative treatment limits (NQTLs) and the duty to disclose this analysis and related information to the DOL on request.

Listen as our panel discusses the legal requirements of the parity rules, CAA requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, DOL enforcement of parity violations, and techniques for handling DOL health plan audits and plaintiff lawsuits.

Outline

  1. Overview of MHPAEA requirements and exceptions for plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  2. CAA comparative analysis requirements and other rules
  3. DOL, HHS, and Treasury guidance for MHPAEA and ERISA compliance
  4. DOL parity compliance enforcement and handling health plan audits
  5. Best practices for conducting internal audits of group health plans for MHPAEA compliance

More Information, How to Register

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