H.R.953 - Senator Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act of 2003108th Congress (2003-2004)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Kennedy, Patrick J. [D-RI-1] (Introduced 02/27/2003)|
|Committees:||House - Education and the Workforce; Energy and Commerce|
|Latest Action:||House - 03/24/2003 Referred to the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. (All Actions)|
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Summary: H.R.953 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)
Senator Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act of 2003 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Public Health Service Act to prohibit certain employee group health plans or related insurances providing both medical-surgical and mental health benefits from imposing mental health treatment limitations or financial requirements unless comparable limitations and requirements are imposed upon medical-surgical benefits. States that the foregoing shall not be construed as requiring a group health plan (or related insurances) to: (1) provide any mental health benefits; (2) prevent the medical management of mental health benefits; or (3) require the provision of specific mental health services, except to the extent that failure to provide such services would result in a disparity between the coverage of mental health and medical-surgical benefits.
Introduced in House (02/27/2003)
Exempts specified small employers from such requirements.
Requires that, in the case of a group health plan that offers a participant or beneficiary two or more benefit package options, the coverage requirements shall be applied separately with respect to each such option.
Provides that, in the case of a plan or insurance providing in-network mental health benefits, out-of-network mental health benefits need not be provided at parity to medical-surgical benefits, as long as in-network mental health benefits are provided at parity with medical-surgical benefits and the plan or insurance provides reasonable access to in-network providers and facilities.
Requires a General Accounting Office study of such requirements' effects upon health insurance costs, access, and quality and a cost estimation of extending such requirements to the treatment of substance abuse and chemical dependency.