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Congress Passes Bills on Mental-Health Parity

A bill to strengthen health coverage of ADHD and other mental health conditions moves on for further action.

The House recently passed mental-health parity legislation that will require insurance companies to cover the treatment of patients with ADHD and other mental illnesses on par with the treatment provided for physical illnesses.

Under the bill, insurers must provide for the treatment of any condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, that is, if they choose to cover mental disorders at all. (Insurers may also continue to deny coverage if they deem a treatment medically unnecessary.) A competing Senate bill, passed last year, has received widespread support from insurers and businesses, but would provide fewer benefits to patients.

As this issue went to press, congressional members still had not reached a compromise, but advocates are continuing to fight for a full-parity law to end the decades-long, discriminatory practices by insurers. Such practices include limiting doctor visits and hospital stays and setting higher co-payments for mental-health patients.

Learn more about the bill at

—as reported in the Summer 2008 issue of ADDitude

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Source: Congress Passes Bills on Mental-Health Parity