August 3, 2009
After years of hard work by consumers, families and advocates, Congress passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 on October 3, 2008. The bill requires the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury to issue regulations before the effective date for the Act which is October 3, 2009. It is essential the regulations are issued to avoid misinterpretation of the law and to ensure access to critical mental health and addiction services.
Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are currently circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in the Senate which will be sent to the Secretaries of the three departments responsible for issuing the regulations insisting they act quickly and consider comments filed by NAMI and other advocacy groups in response to the recent request for information (RFI).
Don't let years of hard work and advocacy go to waste! Make sure regulations addressing the concerns of the field are issued by October 3, 2009. Send a letter today asking your senators to sign onto Sen. Franken's and Sen. Whitehouse's Dear Colleague Letter by 5:00 pm on August 6th. Ask them to ensure parity and equality are achieved for mental health and addiction services.
Read NAMI’s comments in response to the "Request for Information" on upcoming regulations implementing the Parity Act.