Learn More about Mental Health Parity Enforcement
A new tool is available to help enforce mental health parity. Thanks to a grant from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and collaboration with the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Psychiatric Society, NAMI Minnesota, and Minnesota Medical Association. The effort was led by the Minnesota Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (MSCAP).
ParityPortal.org will inform, enlighten, and encourage Minnesotans to recognize their rights under the mental health parity law and provide information as to how to file a complaint. Much of the enforcement of parity relies on people filing a complaint.
The site’s bold message is that insurance discrimination is against the law in Minnesota. The message is clear – health insurance must treat mental health and substance use disorders just like any other medical condition. . It’s simple. Anything else is discrimination. And it’s illegal. Visitors are reminded, “You can do something about it. Know your rights. If you think your insurance is treating your mental illness or substance use disorder claims differently, report it. It matters.”
The site offers visitors simple, step-by-step instructions and brief examples of parity violations. By focusing on discrimination and the law, the site hopes to move away from outdated notions about expecting less in mental health and accepting unfair and unequal conditions. Instead, it encourages and empowers everyone to step up and speak up. The site also includes helpful hints, and contact information generously offered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to help users navigate complexities presented with some complaints that bridge more than one enforcement authority.
There are also print materials to help spread the word to patients and families they serve. Many are downloadable on the site and many can be ordered for distribution in waiting rooms, at events, etc.
Just as each person’s story is important, the ParityPortal website is built on information contributed from Minnesota advocacy and professional organizations, provider groups, state and federal government, the Kennedy Forum, and national and other states’ sites.