n 2008, Congress passed the The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHPAEA) which requires health insurance companies to provide the same coverage for the treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders as is covered for physical health problems – including reasonable co-pays and deductibles. This bill was signed into law by former president George W. Bush. Now, almost four years later, progress on the implementation of the bill has slowed.
Recently, co-authors of MHPAEA and former Congressmen Jim Ramstad and Patrick Kennedy have partnered with politicians, employers, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers to form the Parity Implementation Coalition with the goal to ensure that MHPAEA is fully enforced. In March of this year Former Representatives Ramstad and Kennedy announced the launch of a “Patriots for Parity” tour beginning in the summer of 2012. This tour sets up a series of field hearings across the country over the next year, with hopes of gaining awareness and support for what Kennedy is calling a “civil rights issue.”
Enforcement of the MHPAEA directly affects Emily Program clients and others in the community struggling with mental illness and addiction. The Emily Program Foundationis proud to help host the Parity Implementation Coalition for a field hearing in St. Paul on July 16. Please come out to show your support and help make moves toward the enforcement of equal health coverage for mental illness and substance abuse disorders!
Mental Health Parity Field Hearing
When: Monday, July 16
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: Minnesota Recovery Connection
253 State Street, St. Paul
For more information visit www.parityispersonal.org or follow @ParityCoalition on Twitter.