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The Mental Health Parity Act, which requires employers offering mental health and substance abuse services to offer those services at the same level as other health-related services, has largely been a success, a new government report finds.

According to Targeted News Service, the report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 96 percent of employers who responded to the government survey offered coverage of treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions both in the current plan year and in 2008, before the law was passed.

The report, “Mental Health and Substance Use: Employers’ Insurance Coverage Maintained or Enhanced Since Parity Act, but Effect of Coverage on Enrollees Varied,” found approximately two percent of employers reported offering coverage for only mental health conditions but not substance use disorders for the current plan year and for 2008. In addition, about two percent of employers said they discontinued their coverage of treatment for both mental health and substance use, or only substance use disorders, in the current plan year.

The report concludes most employers made the changes in their plans that were required by the law.


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