Employers Not Dropping Coverage As Mental Health Parity Law Is Enacted

American Medical News: The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act hasn't made employers drop coverage as some feared it might. The full effects won't be felt until early 2011 as health plans begin their new enrollment years, but "[e]arly indications ... are that relatively few employers are dropping mental health coverage in response to the law's mandate, a concern of some of the bill's opponents."

"Large companies — those with 200 or more workers — were less likely than smaller companies to have dropped coverage in 2010: Only 2 percent did so, compared with 7 percent of small employers, according to the 2010 Employer Health Benefits Survey that the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust released in September. (Kaiser Health News is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.) Also, 75 percent of large firms eliminated mental health coverage limits, while 61 percent of smaller employers did so. The law requires companies that offer mental health benefits to restrict them no further than they do physical health coverage" (Trapp, 10/19).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.