A federal district court rebuffed putative class claims alleging that Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and two of the plans it administered violated the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“MHPAEA”) by denying coverage for wilderness therapy. S.F. v. CIGNA Health & Life Ins. Co., 2024 WL 1912359 (D. Utah

In late July, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services released proposed regulations implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).  Readers of our previous blog will recall that the proposed regulations include a new three-part framework for evaluating “non-quantitative treatment limitations” (NQTLs) imposed on plan benefits.  NQTLs

On Tuesday, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services issued proposed amendments to regulations implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and new regulations implementing the non-quantitative treatment limitation (NQTL) comparative analysis requirements under MHPAEA.  The proposed regulations introduce sweeping changes that would affect virtually all group health plans that cover mental health and substance use disorder benefits.

By way of background, MHPAEA requires that group health plans provide mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits in parity with medical and surgical benefits.  Evaluation of whether benefits are in parity is performed for each classification of benefits under the plan.  Although seemingly simple in concept, the nuanced nature of the parity rules has made application challenging for many plan sponsors.  Below are three key areas of focus in the proposed rules that would significantly impact group health plan administration:

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Wit et al. v. United Behavioral Health and Alexander et al. v. United Behavioral Health) exemplifies the challenge in balancing a desire to cover evolving treatments for mental health and substance abuse disorders against plan sponsors’ and insurers’ general authority

A federal district court in Massachusetts concluded that a health insurance plan did not violate the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act by denying coverage for speech therapy to a plan beneficiary who required speech therapy in connection with autism spectrum disorder. The plan denied coverage because the speech therapy sought was for non-restorative

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is charged with ensuring that plans comply with ERISA, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).  EBSA recently released its MHPAEA report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.  We provide below highlights from EBSA’s report and also note some comparisons to FY 2018.

In FY 2019, EBSA

In the latest volley between participants and group health plans over mental health services coverage, a federal district court in California denied United Healthcare’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging the reimbursement rates for out-of-network mental health services.  In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that UHC reduced reimbursement rates for out-of-network services by

The Tenth Circuit upheld a claims administrator’s decision denying a claim for residential mental health treatment as not medically necessary. In so holding, the Court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the claims administrator’s refusal to produce data on its historical denial rates for mental health treatment warranted a de novo review because that information was not

A federal district court in Florida granted Aetna’s motion to dismiss claims that it violated ERISA and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act of 2008 (MHPAA) by refusing to cover the cost of wilderness therapy programs in Colorado and Utah.  The court determined that the plaintiffs failed to state a plausible claim under their

On April 23, 2018, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (together, the “Agencies”) released proposed frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) related to nonquantitative treatment limitations (“NQTLs”) under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”).  The Agencies also provided guidance on new disclosure requirements (which were described in our