Return on investment

Equalized coverage for behavioral health

Correlation between employer costs and equalized coverage

Do insurance costs skyrocket with equalized health benefits coverage? No, says a 2006 research study.

EMPLOYER: The U.S. government

EMPLOYEES: More than 8 million

IMPETUS: An executive mandate in 1999 to equalize benefits

CHANGES: This equalization meant removing special limits on care, or reducing co-payments or deductibles for mental health and substance abuse care (MH/SA).

TIMING: Beginning in Jan. 2001

FINDINGS: A win-win. Little or no significant adverse impact on federal benefits spending or access to and quality of services.

IMPLICATIONS: When coupled with care management, MH/SA coverage on par with other health coverage can improve protection for employees without increasing total costs for employer.

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