Definition


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Parity is about fairness. Americans with behavioral health conditions often have more difficulty getting the treatment and services they need when compared to individuals seeking other medical care. Explore parity-related information regarding legislation, statutes, and regulatory actions since the Federal Parity Law was passed in 2008.

Florida Parity Law

The sections of Florida law relevant to parity are found in the state’s Insurance Law. There is a section for mental health coverage, a section for substance use disorder coverage, and two identical sections for autism coverage (one section is for large employer health maintenance contracts, and the other section is for other large employer fully-insured plans ).

Mental Health Coverage

This section requires small employer fully-insured plans and large to offer optional coverage for mental health treatment. If an employer chooses this optional coverage, the following is required:

Substance Use Disorder Coverage

This section requires small employer fully-insured plans and large to offer optional coverage for substance use disorder treatment. If an employer chooses this optional coverage, the following is required:

This section clearly states that detoxification is not considered outpatient care.

Autism Coverage

The sections of the law about autism require large employer fully-insured plans to cover autism services for children under age 18 as long as the child was diagnosed with a developmental disability before age 8. Autism spectrum disorder is defined as these 3 conditions:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger’s disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified

There is an annual maximum of $36,000 and a lifetime maximum of $200,000. However, these can be adjusted each year for inflation.

Financial requirements for autism services may not be “less favorable” than those in place for other medical services.

Required treatments include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and applied behavior analysis.

State Parity Reports

View the state parity reports to learn about legislation, regulation, and litigation related to parity implementation

State Parity Reports

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Common Violations

In seeking care or services, be aware of the common ways parity rights can be violated.