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News Release

Technical Amendment Extends Mental Health Parity Act Regulatory Sunset Date to December 31, 2002

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (EBSA) today announced a technical amendment in the Federal Register extending the original sunset date for the interim final regulations under the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA) to December 31, 2002.

On January 10, 2002, President Bush signed H.R. 3061 (Pub. L. 107-116), the 2002 Appropriations Act for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This legislation included a provision that extended the original sunset date under MHPA. Since Congress is still considering substantive changes to MHPA, the technical amendment published today only applies to the law’s sunset provision to reflect the change made to MHPA’s sunset provision by H.R. 3061.

MHPA requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than the dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered by a group health plan. The law applies to group health plans (or health insurance coverage offered by issuers in connection with group health plans) that provide both medical/surgical benefits and mental health benefits.

For more information about mental health benefits, call EBSA’s Toll-Free Employee & Employer Hotline number at 1.866.275.7922 or visit the website at to obtain a free copy of “Questions and Answers: Recent Changes in Health Care Law."  The technical amendment is scheduled to be published in the September 27, 2002 Federal Register.

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
September 26, 2002
Release Number