Short-Term Analysis to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation. 1. Introduction

02/08/2012

In general, parity requires that mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) insurance benefits be comparable to and no more restrictive than the benefits for medical-surgical care. Coverage of MH/SUD services has been more limited than most other health services. Restrictions have included annual or lifetime limits on the number of provider visits or inpatient days, annual or lifetime caps on spending for MH/SUD services, or differential co-pay requirements for MH/SUD services. The net effect of these limitations has been generally less coverage and greater patient financial risk for care of these illnesses.

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