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Medical News & Perspectives
October 22 2008

Congress Passes Mental Health Parity Bill

JAMA. 2008;300(16):1868. doi:10.1001/jama.300.16.1868

Health insurers would be required to provide comparable levels of coverage for mental health and physical health issues under new legislation passed by both the US House of Representatives and US Senate in September.

The legislation would end a common health insurance practice of charging substantially higher co-pays for and setting more restrictions on mental health care than other health services.

A range of organizations support the measure, including professional medical organizations, health care advocates, the insurance industry, and business organizations. Its passage by both houses was hailed after several previous attempts to address this issue over the past decade or more have failed to pass both houses.