The new regulations, which have yet to go through a public comment period, would require insurers to study whether their customers have equal access to medical and mental health benefits and take corrective action, if necessary. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires insurers to provide the same level of coverage for mental and physical health care, though the administration and advocates argue that insurer policies restrict patient access.
The rules, if finalized, would force insurers to study patient outcomes to ensure benefits are administered equally, taking into account their provider network and reimbursement rates and whether prior authorization is required for care.
“Too many Americans still struggle to find and pay for the care they need,” the White House said in an emailed statement.
The Democratic president’s administration said it aims to address issues such as insurers allowing nutritional counseling for patients with diabetes, but making it more difficult for those with eating disorders.
By measuring the results, the White House said, it will force insurers to make changes to comply with the law.