State Mental Health Parity Laws: Cause Or Consequence Of Differences In Use?

by Roland Sturm, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback11 pages Free

A new wave of state and federal legislation affecting mental health insurance was passed during the 1990s. Although patient advocacy groups have hailed the passage of numerous parity laws, it is unclear whether this activity represents a major improvement in insurance benefits or significantly increases access to mental health care. The authors investigated this issue with data from two new national studies sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They found that states with below-average utilization were more likely to enact state legislation, but utilization in those states continues to lag behind the rest of the nation.

Originally published in: Health Affairs, v. 18, no. 5, pp. 182-192.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.