ADA Wellness Notice Mental Health Parity Changes

ADA Wellness Notice Mental Health Parity Changes

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ADA Wellness Notice Mental Health Parity Changes
Calendar21 June 2016

Model ADA notice for wellness programs posted

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has posted a sample notice for employer-sponsored wellness programs that must comply with recently issued Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. An accompanying set of Q&As explains who must provide the notice, what formats are acceptable, and when employees must receive the notice. Employer-sponsored wellness programs that collect health information must provide the ADA notice. Employers can craft their own version to use in lieu of the EEOC sample, as along as the notice contains all required content. The ADA notice requirement takes effect for the plan year starting in 2017.

House panel OKs mental health parity changes

Bipartisan legislation (HR 2646) to improve federal-state enforcement of mental health and substance abuse parity rules received unanimous approval from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on June 15. A full House vote on the bill could occur as early as this summer.

The measure directs regulators to come up with an "action plan" for coordinating enforcement and to issue more guidance on parity topics, such as nonquantitative treatment limits that satisfy Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act regulations. Other provisions would clarify that parity standards apply to any eating disorder benefits, including residential treatment, covered by a plan.

Similar legislation (S 2680) cleared a Senate committee in March, and bipartisan talks are underway on how to advance the Senate bill, but the outlook is uncertain. Propelled by concern over the opioid abuse crisis and gun violence, both House and Senate bills include a host of reforms aimed at improving the nation's delivery system for mental health care and better integrating it with medical care.

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