Report of the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force
Six months ago, President Obama established the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, led by the Domestic Policy Council and composed of the Departments of Labor, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Task Force met with consumers, providers, employers, health plans, and State regulators, and read more than 1,100 public comments. On October 27, the Task Force presented its final report to the President. The report includes recommendations to ensure that insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services is comparable to-or at parity with-general medical care. In addition, the Task Force developed a beta version of a new parity Web site to help consumers find the appropriate federal or state agency to assist with parity complaints, appeals, and other actions. An HHS blog post lists some of the Task Force recommendations. According to a Kaiser Health News article, both the health insurance industry and the American Psychiatric Association agree with the recommendations.