Congress Must Address Need for Access to Quality Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Treatments

Today, a group of eight organizations representing employers and health insurance providers sent a letter to Congress focusing on the importance of access to quality, affordable treatment for mental health and substance use disorders (MH/SUD).

Businesses, behavioral health care providers, and health insurance providers are working to comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), helping to ensure access to behavioral health care for millions of Americans. But, as written, the Build Back Better Act would provide the Department of Labor (DOL) with new authority to assess significant new civil monetary penalties on payers for noncompliance with MHPAEA. The organizations offer other solutions to Congress, stating in the letter:

“Following the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and the guidance released in FAQ Part 45,[1] our members made available the newly required comparative analyses upon request from DOL. However, despite extensive good faith efforts to comply, our members have reported that upon submitting analyses, DOL staff sent back dozens of questions and requests for substantially more documentation.

The public and private sectors are committed to working together to improve MH/SUD access and are taking clear steps to comply. We ask that you now turn your focus toward ensuring that the federal agencies that enforce MHPAEA support compliance with the CAA requirements. For example, more robust tools and templates that include examples of complex benefit analyses would be welcomed by our members, as would releasing the de-identified examples of MHPAEA violations, as required by the CAA.”

The organizations also offer technical amendments to ensure adequate due process, robust compliance assistance, and opportunities to rectify identified issues before fines are imposed.

The following organizations signed today’s letter to Congress:

American Benefits Council

Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness

AHIP

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Business Group on Health

Business Roundtable

The ERISA Industry Committee

National Retail Federation

Please click here to view and download the letter.


[1] https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/aca-part-45.pdf

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.