The Simplest Move You’ll Ever Make For Mental Health Parity

Posted on September 25, 2012 by

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American Psychiatric Association

American Psychiatric Association (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American Psychiatric Association is asking for your help in creating mental health parity in the U.S.

The background of their call to action reads as follows:

“As we approach the fourth anniversary of the enactment of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) on October 3, 2008, we are asking for your help to make the purpose of the federal parity law a reality.
Although MHPAEA was enacted nearly four years ago, a final rule implementing the law has not yet been issued. Without a final rule from the Administration, many individuals seeking care for mental health and addictive disorders have been unable to access the health care services they need.

A sign-on letter is being circulated through the House of Representatives by Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) that reiterates important questions and urges the Obama administration to issue final rules. To view the ‘dear colleague’ letter dated Sept. 25, click here.”

There are a number of components to the  MHPEA, starting off with “The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits.”

If you’ve had mental issues, my guess is that you’re for this–it doesn’t take a great deal of hand-wringing. You can get the background information on the Act here.

The APA is requesting that you join them in their campaign–and what they’re asking from you is pretty simple. All you’ve got to do is send a message to your Representative (the attached website even figures out who that is, in case you’ve endured re-districting and don’t know who’s on first), asking him or her to sign their name to this letter. The APA has conveniently provided a suggested text that has all the relevant info for your Rep.

Your job is as easy as clicking here–and filling in some of your own info–it’s one of the simpler grass roots tasks you’ll ever find yourself taking part in: Take Action!

As Nike would say, just do it.