Definition


View in Glossary

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.

Michigan Parity Law

There are two sections of the state insurance law relevant to parity. One is about substance use disorder coverage and the other is about autism coverage.

Substance Use Disorder Coverage

This section requires individual plans, small employer fully-insured plans, to cover substance use disorder services.

Plans must cover at least $1,500 per year for outpatient care and intermediate levels of care (this amount can be adjusted for inflation and has been since this law was written; currently it is over $4,000).

Autism Coverage

This section requires individual plans, small employer fully-insured plans, and large employer fully-insured plans to cover autism services through age 18.

It requires plans to cover an annual maximum of at least $50,000 through age 6, at least $40,000 from 7 through 12, and at least $30,000 from 13 through 18. Financial requirements for autism services must be the same as those in place for other medical services and there cannot be a limit on outpatient visits for autism treatment.

Plans may request that an autism diagnostic observation schedule (this term is defined in the law) be performed on a child once every three years, and plans may review a child’s treatment plan once a year.

Any individual plans or small employer fully-insured plan offered on the exchange under the Affordable Care Act does not have to cover anything in this section that goes beyond what is required of them from covering essential health benefits.

Autism spectrum disorders are defined as autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

Treatment of autism spectrum disorder is listed as (all of these are defined in the law):

State Parity Reports

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

State Parity Reports

Get Support

Common Violations

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