The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both passed consensus versions of the addiction and mental-health parity bill on Sept. 23, a historic vote that brings the goal of equal coverage for behavioral-health problems closer to reality than ever before.
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As Congress prepares to adjourn for the year, advocates for federal addiction and mental-health parity legislation are feverishly mobilizing grassroots pressure in anticipation of floor votes in the House and Senate today or tomorrow.
The A&E Network, home of the critically acclaimed but controversial program Intervention, has announced a new initiative to raise awareness about addiction and recovery that will kick off with a rally on the Brooklyn Bridge on Sept. 27.
The platforms adopted by the Democratic and Republican parties at their recent conventions both signal support for some form of mental-health parity legislation, preventative health services, and alternatives to incarceration for drug-related crime — rare instances where the parties' rhetoric and philosophy are in relative alignment.
Key leaders in Congress reached agreement on competing versions of addiction and mental-health parity legislation over the summer, and now advocates are pressing lawmakers to close the deal by voting on the measure before Congress adjourns.
Capping years of effort by addiction policy advocates and their allies at the statehouse, Massachusetts has enacted legislation requiring health insurers to provide unlimited coverage for medically necessary treatment of substance use disorders.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently approved a measure that would require parity treatment for addictive disorders. The bill was approved on a voice vote.
State rules and policies play an important role in determining the type of addiction treatment delivered to patients and could be key to getting more treatment programs to adopt proven interventions.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits program now includes coverage for screening and brief intervention for addictions, taking advantage of new reimbursement codes issued by the American Medical Association.
In a major victory for addiction treatment and recovery advocates, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would mandate that insurers cover addiction and mental illness on par with other illnesses.