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.