Mar 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2016 — Mary Giliberti, chief executive officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) issued the following statement today following an announcement by the President that he will establish an interagency Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force to improve implementation and enforcement of parity.

In addition, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final mental health and substance use parity rule for both Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs.

"NAMI is pleased that the final rule provides needed guidance on how the federal parity law applies to Medicaid and CHIP plans," said Giliberti. "It is a long road to achieve parity. Finalizing the rule is another step forward."  The Parity Task Force will be important for taking further steps for enforcement.

"In 2015, a NAMI parity report revealed that health insurers were denying mental health care at nearly two times the rate of other medical care—often with no explanation. Greater enforcement is needed in order for the promise of parity to be realized for the millions of Americans living with mental illness."

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).