HHS: Readout – Secretary Becerra, Secretary Walsh Host Health Insurance, Business Leaders To Discuss Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Parity – InsuranceNewsNet

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WASHINGTON, May 5 — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the next news release on May 4, 2022:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh met with medical insurance and business leaders on May 3, 2022, to debate compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, adequacy of in-network providers and mental health and substance use disorder treatment in the course of the pandemic, because the nation observes Mental Health Awareness Month.

MHPAEA is a federal law that, generally, requires medical insurance providers to cover mental health and substance use disorder advantages the identical way they cover medical or surgical health advantages.

The President’s Fiscal Yr 2023 budget supports his whole-of-government strategy to remodel mental health services for all Americans. This collaboration between the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services is an element of the President’s Unity Agenda and the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to addressing the nation’s behavioral health crises and strengthening mental health of all Americans.

“Without true parity for mental and behavioral health services, we’ve no hope of reworking mental health and helping to cut back stigma and increase access to care,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. “Parity in mental and behavioral health services is a basic right. It is a right I even have long fought for in my profession, and now as HHS Secretary where across my department and in partnership with my colleagues, I’m committed to aggressively advancing.”

“For the reason that start of the Biden-Harris administration, enforcement of mental health and substance use disorder parity laws has been one in all the Department of Labor’s top priorities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Group health plans and insurers must find a way to point out us that they’re providing mental health treatment coverage the best way the law requires. We’re grateful to have had this earnest conversation, and sit up for learning more concerning the work health plans and insurers are doing to attain parity and increase access to care.”

The Secretaries met with industry leaders in a constructive dialogue, with commitments from attendees to proceed to interact on these critical issues. In addition they raised the importance of contraceptive coverage and the necessity to do more to make sure women and families get this essential care.

Secretary Becerra and Secretary Walsh were joined at yesterday’s event by representatives of the American Advantages Council, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Beacon Health Options, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, Cigna Corp., the HR Policy Association, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, the National Business Group on Health, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, the United Health Group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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