New Information from the Department of Labor

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has published a new batch of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These questions come from ACA stakeholders and the DOL publishes them to facilitate compliance with certain ACA mandates. The FAQ answers questions about the recently released final rules on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).

The FAQ explains that the final rules generally apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance coverage for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2014. There is further clarification that the final rules apply to all individual health insurance coverage for policy years beginning on or after July 1, 2014. The FAQ goes on to discuss why the final rules eliminate the “clinically appropriate standards of care” exception that was present in the interim final rule.

The FAQ describes some of the steps the DOL is taking to promote compliance with the final rule and confirms that multiple provider network tiers will be allowed. The FAQ explains that the final rules do not apply to grandfathered small group plans, that certain types of health plans for State and local government employees may opt out of the MHPAEA’s requirements, and that the MHPAEA does not apply to retiree-only plans.

There is also information provided about an exemption to the MHPAEA available to certain employer health plans, called the increased cost exemption. The FAQ provides mailing addresses where exemption related paperwork can be sent. The final entry in the FAQ provides resources to individuals looking to learn more about their health plan benefits and the MHPAEA.


Click here to view the FAQ.