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CMS Proposes Mental Health Coverage Parity for Medicaid and CHIP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued April 7 a proposed rule that applies provisions of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to Medicaid alternative benefit plans, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid managed care organizations. The act requires insurance plans to provide comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder benefits that are equal to medical and surgical benefits. The proposed rule aims to ensure that beneficiaries of the above-mentioned plans and programs have access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits regardless of whether their care is funded through a managed care organization or another service delivery system. The proposal does not, however, apply to Medicaid fee-for-service plans.

Comments on the proposed rule are due to CMS by June 9. Contact Beth Feldpush, DrPH, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, at bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0111 with questions.

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About the Author

Zina Gontscharow is a former senior policy analyst for America's Essential Hospitals.

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