The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 came about after many years of lobbying for parity in the provision of mental health and substance abuse services under health insurance plans.  “Mental Health Parity” means mental health and substance abuse services are recognized and treated similarly or equal to physical health services.  As a result of this Act, most health insurance plans do cover mental health services.

Of course, benefits can be different depending on the plan you have.  To find out about your coverage, check your “summary plan description” or the “summary of benefits and coverage”.  Your insurance card should have a phone number you can call for this information, and sometimes you can check your benefits online.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has information on their website (SAMHSA) about mental health parity.  They have also created a couple of useful documents that provide more information about mental health parity and the law.  Click below to view these documents:

Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits

Parity of Mental Health and Substance Use Benefits with Other Benefits: Using Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan to Cover Services