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News Release

Mental Health Parity Act Extended To December 31, 2003

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today announced a technical amendment extending the interim final rules under the Mental Health Parity Act to December 31, 2003.

President Bush signed the Mental Health Reauthorization Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-313) on December 2, 2002, extending the sunset date of the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) to December 31, 2003.

The original Act contained a sunset provision requiring that provisions of MHPA would not apply to benefits for services furnished on or after September 30, 2001. An earlier amendment extended the Act until December 31, 2002.

MHPA requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits for mental health benefits be no lower than the dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered by a group health plan. The Act applies to group health plans or health insurance coverage offered by issuers in connection with a group health plan that offers both mental health and medical/surgical benefits. However, MHPA does not require plans to offer mental health benefits.

The technical amendment extending the sunset date is scheduled to be published in the April 14, 2003 Federal Register. For more information about mental health benefits, contact EBSA at 1.866.444.3272 or visit the website at to obtain a free copy of “Questions and Answers: Recent Changes in Health Care Law.”

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7755.

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
April 11, 2003
Release Number