The law which went into effect in late 2009 called the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, provides that employees receive the same level of mental health benefits as they do for medical and surgical care. It bans a plan from using deductibles for the treatment of mental health disorders or substance abuse that are different than the deductibles for medical and surgical care. There can no longer be limits on mental health treatment if there are no limits on medical and surgical care. The law does not apply to companies with fewer than 50 workers. The law does not require plans to provide mental health and substance abuse coverage, and it doesn’t bar employers from dropping coverage all together.
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