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, 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
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Business Group on Health
The ERISA Industry Committee
National Retail Federation