The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new pamphlet that helps explain the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and what it means for people who are insured under employer-sponsored health plans and are in need of treatment for mental illness or substance abuse.  Prior to the Act, most insurance plans did not provide the same benefits for mental health treatment as they did for physical health treatment.  While the Parity Act applies to most health insurance coverage sold, including coverage sold through the health insurance marketplace, unfortunately there are some exemptions.  Parity only applies to private employer plans that already provide mental health/substance abuse treatment, and only those with 51 or more workers.  For a more detailed explanation of the Parity Act, here is a link to the pamphlet: