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of the MHPA I.117 Similar to Timothy’s Law, the MHPA II contains an exemption for employers with less than fifty employees.118 The MHPA II also contains a “Cost Exemption,” which exempts health insurance providers who show projected total cost of coverage increases of at least
two percent during subsequent year. exemption would be 119
the first year or more than one percent each The employers who would qualify for this cost a clear-cut minority, as the Congressional Budget
Office estimates have shown less than employers.120 The MHPA II will affect
a one percent cost increase to the health plans of an estimated
113 million number of
Americans, and would mental illness-related
preempt any state laws limiting treatment days or visits. 121
providers would also be required to inform all insurees of alterations in II passed in the in the House MHPA II.122 The MHPA their coverage relating to the Senate on September 18 and is currently , 2 0 0 7 , Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.123 With
the support of the public and major insurance carriers124 it may one day become a law and bring American citizens one step closer to full mental health parity.
State Mental Health Parity Laws
Before Timothy’s Law was passed, forty-six states had laws that
117. Compare Press Release, Breakthrough on Mental Health Parity, supra note 44, at 2, with Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 § 712, 29 U.S.C. § 1185a(a)(1)-(2) (2006).
Compare Press Release, Breakthrough on Mental Health Parity, supra note 44, at 3, with
Y. INS. LAW § 3221(5)(D)(i).
Press Release, Breakthrough on Mental Health Parity, supra note 44, at 3.
See id. at 4.
Id. at 3-4.
Id. at 5.
See Library of Cong., http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/dbquery/z?d110:SN00558:@@@R
(last visited July 17, 2008). 124. See Press Release, Aetna, Aetna Statement in Support Of Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 (Feb. 14, 2007), available at http://www.aetna.com/news/2007/0214.htm Aetna supports this legislation and will work with Congress to see that it is enacted without modifications that undermine the compromise forged by Senators Kennedy, Domenici and Enzi . . . Aetna is supportive of the principles and approach embodied in this legislation. If passed, we believe our members will benefit by being better able to achieve their optimal health through more integrated health and behavioral programs, benefits and services. Id. (quoting Mary Fox, head of Medical Related Products).