Changes to Mental Health Benefits under New Parity Law
As of January 1, 2010, when the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act goes into effect, many clients are likely to see improvements in their insurance coverage for psychotherapy, such as lower deductibles, elimination of session limits, and lower out-of-pocket expenses. Such changes should apply to both in-network and out-of-network benefits, thus creating greater choice in mental health treatment. The purpose of the law is to eliminate inequalities in coverage for physical health vs mental health benefits. While mental health benefits for New Yorkers have for some time been subject to limited parity under Timothy’s Law, the new Federal law is intended to extend the definition of parity to cover a broader range of emotional conditions. The changes you are likely to see should make your mental health benefits more aligned with your physical health benefits. I would encourage clients to check with your insurance company to learn about specific changes to your policy for the new year.
For more information about the new law, please read the following: The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act of 2008: Questions and Answers for Psychologists
For more on an initial consultation for psychotherapy, see Getting Started.