Enforce Equal Access for Addiction Treatment

Enforce Equal Access for Addiction Treatment

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Erin McGee started this petition to U.S. House of Representatives and

Did you know that about 290 Americas die from a drug overdose or suicide? Or that according to SAMHSA, 21.5 million Americans need substance use disorder (SUD) care, but only 2.3 million receive care. Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act or Parity Act was created in 2008 to help support families impacted by addiction to ensure they receive access to mental health (MH) and substance use care (SUD). The Parity Act was designed to have private, and public insurers cover treatment for MH and SUD. However, even after a decade of the law being in place, there is an inadequacy of it being fully enforced. People are often unaware of what the Parity Act is and the legal rights it provides. The act's purpose was to ensure that SUD is treated like any other disease and faces the same medical or surgical model of care.  The Parity Act implements non-discriminatory insurance coverage for addiction. It is illegal for insurance companies to inflict barriers to receiving affordable SUD treatment. These barriers include higher deductibles, demanding authorization requirements, restrictive visit limits, and medication management tool limitations.


Policymakers have an obligation to enforce the Parity Act entirely to prevent insurance plans from illegally denying addiction treatment coverage. We need to improve addiction treatment by first increasing access to treatment through the enforcement of the Parity Act. Policymakers need to strengthen regulations on restrictive medically necessary criteria that prevent health plans from creating their own standards for "medically necessary" SUD treatment, leading insurance companies to turn down care and steer costs. The Department of Labor needs to scrutinize the penalties insurance companies are doing to prevent equal access to SUD treatment.


We need this law to be compliant with its promise to increase access to SUD care. Please sign to ensure patient’s rights in receiving access to affordable, life-saving addiction treatment. Addiction is a disease and needs to be treated equally in insurance coverage. Lawmakers must fulfill their obligation to address access to SUD treatment!


Resource: Partnership to End Addiction. (2020). What is the mental health parity and addiction equity act? New York: Partnership Staff.
 

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!