The commissioner updated rules on mental-health parity in 2014 and asked insurers to review previous mental-health claims that had been denied under a blanket exclusion. He asked insurers to rectify those denials.
The need for clarification arose after a consumer filed a complaint with our office after being denied for residential mental-health treatment. The individual said this violated federal laws regarding mental-health parity.
The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires insurers in Washington to provide residential mental-health benefits to consumers on par with similar medical health benefits.
Most insurers were already providing the mental-health services on par with medical services. The consumer complaint prompted further clarification.
Better access to mental-health treatment continues as a top public policy priority in Washington. Consumers with concerns can contact the commissioner’s office at any time for information. Consumer advocates are also available to take calls toll-free at 1-800-562-6900.
Read more about mental-health parity.