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Defending (and Defeating) Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Claims

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide guidance on how to successfully litigate and defend claims under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”). The panel will discuss the requirements of MHPAEA for group health plans, recent litigation and DOL enforcement actions involving the MHPAEA and the regulatory “Non-Quantitative Treatment Limitations (“NQTL”), disclosure requirements, and best practices and tactics for litigating MHPAEA claims.


The MHPAEA has become a regular presence in both class actions and participant lawsuits involving mental health or substance abuse benefits available under group health plans. The DOL also is aggressively auditing group health plans (and the third parties that administer them) to ensure compliance with the MHPAEA. Health plan administrators and insurers regularly face ERISA administrative claims for group health plan benefits that assert MHPAEA claims, the complexity and novelty of which often challenge existing procedures for reviewing these sorts of claims. State statutory analogues to the MHPAEA, along with traditional ERISA litigation principles, add additional complexity to these disputes.

Listen as experienced ERISA litigators Andrew Holly and Nicholas Pappas provide background on the MHPAEA, as well as the complex NQTL found in the DOL’s MHPAEA regulations. They will describe case decisions interpreting the MHPAEA and its regulations. And they will provide advice for plan sponsors, third party administrators, and insurers on how to successfully defend against MHPAEA claims in litigation, during DOL audits, and at the administrative stage.



  1. Background on the MHPAEA and the NQTL’s, including recent updates under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (“CAA”)
  2. Background on case decisions interpreting the MHPAEA and the NQTL’s
  3. DOL’s MHPAEA interpretations, priorities, and enforcement actions
  4. Disclosure issues under the MHPAEA
  5. Tips and strategies on how to litigate and defend litigation, DOL enforcement, and ERISA administrative claims under the MHPAEA.


The panel will review these and other crucial questions:

  • The interpretation and application of the MHPAEA and the NQTLs (including recent regulatory and statutory updates)
  • Strategies for successfully and efficiently defeating MHPAEA claims in litigation
  • How to address MHPAEA claims in the administrative ERISA claim for benefit process
  • DOL’s MHPAEA interpretations, priorities, and enforcement actions
  • Addressing disclosure issues under the MHPAEA


Holly, Andrew
Andrew Holly

Dorsey & Whitney

Mr. Holly serves as co-chair of Dorsey’s ERISA Litigation Practice Group. He has 20 years' experience...  |  Read More

Pappas, Nicholas
Nicholas J. Pappas

Dorsey & Whitney

Mr. Pappas litigates and counsels with respect to complex employment disputes, including in relation to...  |  Read More

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