Foley Associate Maureen Kwiecinski is speaking at the World Research Group's 3rd Annual Capitalizing on Medical-Behavioral Healthcare Integration Conference April 28 - 30, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.
Ms. Kwiecinski is speaking at 8:15 a.m. on April 29, 2009. Her session is titled "The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008." The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 amends the original Act of 1996 expanding its protections to include substance abuse disorder benefits and to require parity between medical/surgical benefits and mental health and substance abuse benefits. Health plans that currently provide benefits for mental health/substance use disorders are required to provide coverage that is not more restrictive than the benefits generally available for medical/surgical conditions. Similar to the Parity Act of 1996, the provisions of this Act appear in ERISA, PHSA (Public Health Service Act) and the Internal Revenue Code, and therefore its provisions apply to most fully insured and self funded group health plans. This session familiarizes attendees with the provisions of the new Act, how the new Act changes current requirements, health plan amendments that may be necessary to ensure compliance, potential exemptions under the Act, and possible implementation strategies. Specifically, this session helps attendees: