Wellstone & Domenici Parity Act (2008)


In this sense, parity means equal coverage for mental health, substance abuse treatment, and physical health conditions covered under insurance plans. Passing this bill was meant to ensure equal benefits for all types of treatment that people need, without any discrimination.

  • Equal benefits (equal coverage)
  • Equal limits (one can not be more restrictive than another)
  • Equal Cost-sharing (deductibles, co-payments, etc)

Reimbursement charges are not included in the bill and the changes are expected to increase premiums by .4% for insurance companies. Although this act is meant to create equality, it is still possible for some parties to opt out of providing mental health and substance abuse benefits altogether. State laws also come into play and may cause some discrepancies among the people involved in this industry.

The Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act will be implemented beginning January 1, 2010 after being passed by the Bush administration in 2008. Some insurance companies have been fighting against this bill and changes continue to be made, but before long it will be the new way of the health care system. Equality may make an appearance in this bill, but only time will tell how effective the law really is.

Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act FAQ http://www.phwa.org/resources/goodcompany/newsletter/article/113
Congressional Research Service Summary

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