An Early Case Study of the Effects of California's Mental Health Parity Legislation

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 53, no. 10, Oct 2002, p. 1215-1216

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2001

by Robert B. Branstrom, Roland Sturm

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In 2001, Congress defeated a proposed amendment that would have mandated nationwide parity for mental health coverage, primarily because of employers' fears of increasing insurance costs. However, a number of states have enacted parity laws. California's parity law restricts mandatory benefits for adults to those with severe mental illness. This article provides preliminary analysis of the contrasting experiences of two large employer groups in CA following enactment of parity legislation.

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