New rules on parity in mental health and substance use disorder take effect January 13, 2014

As part of Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes to health care, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has just issued their new rules regarding mental health and substance use parity in health plans.

The 206 page document is titled: Final Rules under the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA); Technical Amendment to External Review for Multi-State Plan Program.

Without wading too deeply into governmental alphabet soup, the short strokes are that the ACA calls for the same parity in mental health and substance use disorder for non-ERISA health insurance policies as have been in place for ERISA (read, employer provided) policies since 2008.

The new rules take effect January 13, 2014 (See, e.g., 26 CFR § 54.9812.)

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at or contact us through e-mail: