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September 16, 2008    DOL Home > Find It! By Topic > Health Plans > Mental Health Benefits   

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Health Plans & Benefits

Mental Health Benefits

The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) provides for parity in the application of aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits on mental health benefits with dollar limits on medical/surgical benefits. A plan that does not impose an annual or lifetime dollar limit on medical and surgical benefits may not impose such a dollar limit on mental health benefits offered under the plan. MHPA does not apply to benefits for substance abuse or chemical dependency. Health plans are not required to include mental health benefits in their benefits package. MHPA only applies to those plans that do offer mental health benefits.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Consumer Information on Health Plans
Provides fact sheets, booklets, and other health plan information from the Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

Compliance Assistance
Provides publications and other materials to assist employers and employee benefit plan practitioners in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for the administration of pension and health plans.

Questions and Answers: Mental Health Parity Act
Provides answers to commonly asked questions about the Mental Health Parity Act.

Fact Sheet: Mental Health Parity Act
Provides a brief overview of the Mental Health Parity Act.

Compliance Assistance for Group Health Plans: HIPAA and Other Recent Health Care Laws
Provides 10 key compliance considerations for group health plans.

Health Coverage Portability (PDF)
Provides information about major provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act.

Phone Numbers