In Name Only? Mental Health Parity or Illusory Reform

Psychodyn Psychiatry. 2014 Sep;42(3):353-75. doi: 10.1521/pdps.2014.42.3.353.


The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the Affordable Care Act mandate significant insurance and patient protection reforms. Despite these safeguards, lax regulatory enforcement and lack of consumer and provider sophistication have failed to remedy ongoing insurer abuses resulting in deprivation of crucial mental health and substance abuse treatment. Even with persistent and informed advocacy, including strategies outlined herein, any potential parity gains are negated by unreasonably low reimbursement benchmarks already used by insurers in many ACA (∗) -exchange plans. The need for legislative remediation is therefore urgent.

MeSH terms

  • Health Services Accessibility / ethics
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / ethics
  • Insurance, Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Insurance, Health / standards*
  • Mental Health Services / ethics
  • Mental Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act / ethics
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act / standards*