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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 (S.558)

Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 (S.558)

Core Provisions: This legislation would amend ERISA to require group health plans to administer treatment limitations, beneficiary financial requirements and out-of-network coverage so that mental health benefits are no more restrictive than “substantially all medical and surgical benefits.” This amendment would not apply to group health plans of employers with fewer than 50 employees.

Status: On February 12, 2007, the bill was introduced by Sen. Domenici (R-NM). On September 18, 2007, the Senate passed S.558, and it was referred to the House HELP Subcommittee on October 17, 2007. On March 5, 2008, the White House released a statement urging passage of S.558, because the bill “strikes the necessary balance of treating mental illness with the same urgency as physical illnesses without significantly increasing health care costs.”