Many psychologists have by now heard of The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act of 2008. Basically, this Act tries to prevent discrimination against Americans with mental healthcare needs through the use of biased insurance policies. Historically, physical health insurance coverage provided superior benefits and fewer restrictions than mental health. Psychologists and consumer advocates have fought to end these disparities for many, many years so the passage of this bill was a celebrated win by many in the mental healthcare field (except the insurance companies, of course).
The federal bill is complicated, and I have not sorted through the entire document. However, I recently came across a 5 page PDF article from the American Psychological Association Practice (APA) division that summarizes the Wellstone-Domenici Act, and its affect on psychologists and their patients, called “The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 – Questions and Answers for Psychologists.” No need to reinvent the wheel here as this is a great document with an excellent summary of important topics.
Please download this article to learn more about this important and historical Act. I have also attached the federal bill that contains the entire Wellstone-Domenici Act.
A downloadable PDF from APA Practice entitled, “The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 – Questions and Answers for Psychologists” is here.
The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 as approved through the Act of the United States Congress can be found here. The Wellstone-Domenici Act starts on page 117.