Norcross, Courtney, Kuster Introduce Bill to Enforce Mental Health Parity, Hold Insurance Companies Accountable
May 22, 2019
U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction Task Force, along with U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Ann Kuster (NH-02), Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction Task Force, introduced the Parity Enforcement Act, H.R. 2848, which expands the U.S. Department of Labor’s authority to hold health insurers and plan sponsors accountable for offering health plans that violate the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
“Every single year we’re losing more Americans to the opioid epidemic than we did in all of the Vietnam War and, unfortunately, suicide is also on the rise in nearly every state in our nation,” said Congressman Norcross. “While mental health parity is rightfully the law of the land, our enforcement mechanisms are severely lacking. Insurance companies can get away with not following parity laws, even though lives are on the line. We can and must do more.”
“Ensuring all Americans have access to effective mental health and addiction treatment is one of the best ways we can stem the increase in addiction and overdose,” said Congressman Courtney. “Insurance companies are required to provide parity between mental health and other benefits, but too frequently they deny coverage or make accessing this treatment difficult. That’s against the law, and we should empower DOL to deter this illegal behavior. This legislation will provide new authority to ensure employer sponsored insurance plans are following parity rules.”