Federal Parity Task Force Takes Steps to Strengthen Insurance Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

For too long, Americans paid for health insurance that did not recognize that treatment for mental health and substance use disorders is as essential as other medical treatment. Access to effective mental health and substance use disorder services can mean the difference between graduating from school and falling behind; between keeping a good job and becoming involved with the criminal justice system; between living a full life in recovery and dying by overdose or suicide.

In March of this year, President Obama established the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force and charged Federal Departments and Agencies to work together to ensure that Americans are benefiting from the mental health and substance use disorder parity protections under the law.

Today in its final report, the Task Force announced a series of actions and recommendations to help ensure better implementation of parity; to help consumers, providers, and plans understand how parity works; and to ensure appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections.

The actions and recommendations announced today will continue to advance the Administration’s progress on parity implementation. To learn more about the Task Force’s report to President Obama, check out Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz’s and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez’s blog post here.

To access the full report and learn more about the Administration’s initiatives, please visit: http://www.hhs.gov/parity