Nearly every American with insurance is covered by an employee benefit plan. The EBSA, or the Employee Benefits Security Administration, is the federal government’s special agency to enforce laws regarding employee benefits and pension plans. Over 150 million employees are covered by EBSA plans. The agency now handles many violations of law concerning health care and pensions.
Many people would like to know if Indiana Employee benefits have to cover mental health. Although there is no law that states your group health insurance must cover any mental health treatments, many employer provided plans do pay for it. Since there is no obligation to do so, many choose not to offer coverage for mental health, and it is perfectly legal.
If coverage is offered, however, there are some regulations concerning the extent of coverage provided. The Mental Health Parity Act, or MHPA, demands that group health insurance provides the same amount of money for mental health treatments that it does for other medical treatments. Surgery coverage is counted in this requirement, so the amount covered for surgery must be matched in mental health treatment coverage.
The MHPA is a bill that has been renewed time and time again. Since 1996, when it was first passed, it has been amended five times. The most recent renewal of the bill occurred in February 2007, extending the bill to the very end of the year, December 31st.
The bill not only calls for the equal parity of mental health coverage with medical coverage, but it also is concerned with annual limits. Before the MHPA was passed, health care plans could set extremely low limits on mental health treatments. In other words, they used to be able to set an annual limit for $70,000 on surgery and cap mental health treatment coverage at $3,000. Since the Mental Health Parity Act, that is not longer allowed.