New Publication Announcement: Complying With the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) - August 17, 2009 - Washington, DC

Leading health care publisher, AIS, is pleased to announce its newest publication, Complying With the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Final regulations will be issued soon under the groundbreaking new mental health parity law, which requires significant changes to health plan benefit designs. In addition to having a dramatic impact on health plan benefit designs, this new law will affect virtually every employer with 50 or more employees that offers health care coverage.

Any insurer or employer that offers mental health benefits must now cover mental illnesses and substance-abuse disorders on the same terms and conditions as other illnesses. While this general requirement sounds quite simple, the details demand that a number of complex compliance decisions be made, with a January 1, 2010 effective date for most plans rapidly approaching.

Written by Alston & Bird, LLP ’s top health care attorneys — John R. Hickman and Laurie Kirkwood, Complying With the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is a new softbound book from AIS that provides hands-on guidance for making the complicated benefit design decisions that need to be made very soon. It contains separate chapters on:

  • Defining ‘Mental Health Benefits’ and ‘Substance Abuse Benefits’
  • Financial Requirements
  • Treatment Limitations
  • Exemptions
  • Other Wellstone Act Provisions
  • Compliance Roadmap
  • And appendices that include the statutory language, agency regulations, and model notices.

For more information and to see a detailed Table of Contents, go to

For health plans, the many major changes ahead include developing new ways of processing behavioral health claims, which before were typically not applied to a health plan’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. For plan sponsors, parity will result in an increase in employer-paid coinsurance amounts, which could lead to substantially increased utilization of behavioral health services and pharmaceuticals, resulting in potentially higher employer benefit costs.

Complying With the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is designed for financial managers, medical officers, clinical services directors, compliance officers, product developers, and marketing directors at health plans and large employer purchasers. For further publication details, visit

CONTACT: Susan Woodard Atlantic Information Services 1100 17th St., NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036

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