New Mental Health Parity Rules and Requirements for Plan Sponsors and Administrators

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

A live 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will provide benefits counsel and advisers with guidance on overcoming challenges in ensuring compliance with the new 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, new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, recent DOL enforcement of parity violations, and best practices for ensuring compliance with MHPAEA rules.

Description

New requirements of the MHPAEA and recent 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 new CAA requirements and recent IRS and DOL regulations.

On Aug. 12, 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, 2021.

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 2021 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, new CAA requirements, ERISA disclosure requirements, recent DOL enforcement of parity violations, and techniques for handling DOL health plan audits and plaintiff lawsuits.

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Outline

  1. Overview of MHPAEA requirements and exceptions for plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  2. New 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

Benefits

The panel will review these and other crucial questions:

  • MHPAEA legal requirements for plans providing MH/SUD benefits
  • Recent DOL, HHS, and IRS guidance on MHPAEA compliance and implementation
  • New 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

Faculty

Shillcutt, David
David Shillcutt

Senior Counsel
Epstein Becker & Green

Mr. Shillcutt has deep experience in the areas of behavioral health, government and commercial reimbursement, and...  |  Read More

Wendzel, Bailey
Bailey N. Wendzel

Attorney
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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You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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