First Posted: 3/19/2008
I would like to thank Congressman Chris Carney for co-sponsoring house bill H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellston Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. This important legislation would eliminate disparities in mental health and addiction coverage, while providing safeguards for employers. There are more than 57 million people suffering from mental illness and 26 million suffering from chemical addiction.
H.R. 1424 would insure that any financial requirements and treatment limitations applied to mental health and addiction benefits are no more restrictive or costly than those applied to medical or surgical benefits. It would also guarantee that plans cover the same range of mental illness and addition disorders offered by the federal employee health plan that Members of Congress use. Although this change would establish the federal parity as a minimum, it would not interfere with states that have stricter parity provisions. Currently, our state has no mental health parity law and only mandates minimum benefits.