Washington, D.C. – (July 27, 2023) – On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Today, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury released several documents related to the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). AHIP issued this statement in response:
"As we evaluate these significant new proposals, we want to reiterate and make clear: mental health is good health, period. We agree that everyone deserves access to mental health care, and that access should be on par with physical health.
“Access to mental health has been, and continues to be, challenging primarily because of a shortage and lack of clinicians, which is why for years, health insurance providers have implemented programs and strategies to expand networks and increase access. Those approaches include creating new coverage pathways with expanded access through telehealth and new technologies, and integrating mental and physical health care. It also involves working with primary care doctors on identifying mental health needs, providing pathways to care, and incorporating quality and value.
“The significant increase in use of mental health care since passage of the federal parity law provides strong evidence that MHPAEA is working and providing patients with access to the quality, affordable health care they need. Even before the pandemic’s massive impact on mental health needs, according to a FAIR Health study, the number of private insurance claims for behavioral health diagnoses increased 108% from 2007-2017, indicating that more people are getting treatment in the decade since MHPAEA was enacted.
“Health insurance providers have a consistent, clear commitment to improving access to mental health, as well as solutions that will work for Americans. We encourage the Administration to work with health insurance providers, clinicians, patients and other stakeholders alike to continue to improve access."