Mental Health Parity and Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in 1999-2000

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 51, no. 12, Dec. 2000, p. 1487

Posted on on December 31, 1999

by Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Roland Sturm

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Health plans that limit coverage partly insure individuals against smaller expenses for mental health care but leave them at full risk for large expenses that exceed the limit. The authors examined changes in copayments and coinsurance for covered benefits. Data on plan benefits were obtained from the employer survey in the Health Care for Communities Study, conducted between July 1999 and July 2000. Copayments are a fixed dollar amount that the patient pays for each service, regardless of the service's cost. Coinsurance, on the other hand, requires the patient to pay a fixed proportion of the total cost of the visit.

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