Overview of the March 29, 2016 Final Rule on the Application of Mental Health Parity Requirements to Coverage Offered by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Alternative Benefit Plans
On March 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs; Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008; the Application of Mental Health Parity Requirements to Coverage Offered by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Alternative Benefit Plans (ABPs) (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-30/pdf/2016-06876.pdf). This rule provides new requirements for Medicaid and CHIP compliance with the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Final MHPAEA regulations for group health insurance plans were issued in 2013. Much of this final rule extends the MHPAEA requirements for group health plans to Medicaid MCOs, CHIP, and ABPs, with exceptions and changes as applicable to address the unique aspects of state Medicaid mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) delivery systems. This document provides a high-level summary of the rule and highlights the changes to the proposed rule.