State laws mandating or regulating mental health benefits do dating couples talk

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But about two in five insured Coloradans have health plans that are exempt from the parity requirements.

(See Figure 2.) Colorado law requires fully insured large group plans to provide coverage for behavioral health services, but self-funded plans are regulated by the federal government and are not mandated to cover these services.

Through these various new requirements, the ACA in conjunction with Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) will expand coverage of behavioral health care by historic proportions.

In this article, the authors use the term “behavioral health” to refer to mental health and substance use disorders collectively.“Grandfathered” plans are plans in which an individual was enrolled as of March 23, 2010 when the ACA was enacted and since then have not been changed significantly.

It did not require health plans to cover treatment for substance use disorders. Bill Ritter and the legislature updated the law to include additional mental illnesses, such as post traumatic stress disorder, along with drug and alcohol disorders.

In 2008, the federal government updated and expanded its parity law.

These and other efforts have expanded insurance coverage for and access to behavioral health services for many Coloradans.

Second, it required individual market and fully insured small group plans to cover substance use disorder and mental health services as part of the law’s essential health benefits package.

(See Figure 1 for a timeline of these laws.) Even with these laws, in 2019, not all insurance plans are required to cover substance use disorder and mental health services at the same level as physical health.

Still, not all Coloradans have comparable coverage for their behavioral and physical health needs.

There are no data that show exactly how many people in Colorado lack equal coverage for physical and behavioral health care.

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