JOURNAL ARTICLE

Behavioral health issue brief: parity and other insurance mandates for the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse: year end report-2003

Allison C Colker, Andrew McKinley
Issue Brief of the Health Policy Tracking Service 2003 December 31, : 1-36
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Parity and other insurance mandates for the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse continue to be on the agenda of many state legislatures. A broad spectrum of opinions surround what mandates for mental health and substance abuse could and should be. The debate over mandated benefit legislation typically centers around consumer protection versus cost. There are strong opponents, for example, that advocate for nothing less than full parity for mental health and substance abuse treatment. Equally strong are the groups that oppose parity because they believe it will lead to a health care cost increase and, therefore, an increase in the number of uninsured. Both sides continue to make progress as the victories and the defeats unfold on the floors of state legislatures.

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