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Mental Health Parity Rules and Requirements for Plan Sponsors and Administrators

DOL Enforcement Actions, Regulations, Self-Compliance Tools, Comparative Analysis, CAA Parity Disclosures

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 Thursday, September 14, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide benefits counsel and advisers with guidance on overcoming challenges in ensuring compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) rules and requirements for plan sponsors and insurers. The panel will discuss the requirements of MHPAEA for health plans that provide mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, DOL enforcement of parity violations, and best practices for ensuring compliance with MHPAEA rules.


The requirements of the MHPAEA and DOL enforcement actions provide significant challenges for plan sponsors in ensuring that their health plans remain compliant. In addition to the strict requirements under the MHPAEA, health plans providing mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits must ensure compliance with CAA requirements and IRS and DOL regulations.

In 2021 the DOL announced a $15.6 million settlement related to violations of the MHPAEA and its intent to make health plan compliance a priority in enforcement actions and audits. In addition, the Employee Benefits Security Administration commenced an audit program for compliance with MHPAEA, including making requests for the "comparative analysis" required by the CAA.

All group health plans that provide MH/SUD benefits must comply with parity rules, with limited exceptions. Benefits counsel and advisers must address the risks to plan sponsors and insurers by reassessing current health plans, adhering to the MHPAEA rules and disclosure obligations under ERISA, and other issues that result in DOL audits or class action lawsuits. Under the CAA, plan sponsors must perform and document comparative analysis of the design and application of nonquantitative treatment limits (NQTLs) and the duty to disclose this analysis and related information to the DOL on request.

Listen as our panel discusses the legal requirements of the parity rules, CAA requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, DOL enforcement of parity violations, and techniques for handling DOL health plan audits and plaintiff lawsuits.



  1. Overview of MHPAEA requirements and exceptions for plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  2. CAA comparative analysis requirements and other rules
  3. DOL, HHS, and Treasury guidance for MHPAEA and ERISA compliance
  4. DOL parity compliance enforcement and handling health plan audits
  5. Best practices for conducting internal audits of group health plans for MHPAEA compliance


The panel will review these and other crucial questions:

  • MHPAEA legal requirements for plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  • DOL, HHS, and IRS guidance on MHPAEA compliance and implementation
  • CAA comparative analysis requirement for any NQTLs
  • Revised disclosure form for document requests and updated self-compliance tool
  • ERISA disclosure requirements for health plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  • DOL compliance enforcement and handling health plan audits


Watson, Roberta
Roberta Casper Watson

The Wagner Law Group

Ms. Watson focuses on ERISA and employee benefits. She concentrates on a wide array of areas including, pension and...  |  Read More

Minnick, Devon
Devon Minnick

Epstein Becker & Green

Ms. Minnick brings her enthusiasm, analytical skills, and client-focused approach to every healthcare matter....  |  Read More

Wendzel, Bailey
Bailey N. Wendzel

Epstein Becker & Green

Ms. Wendzel brings a client-focused approach and analytical mindset to assist clients across a diverse range of matters...  |  Read More

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