To promote the mental health and wellbeing of all Arizonan's through education, advocacy and the shaping of public policy.

Mental Health America Position Statement on Parity in Health Insurance
All people should have a right to health-care benefits, including needed behavioral health services. MHA calls on the federal and state governments to ensure, as a matter of law, that public and private health plans afford people access to needed behavioral health care and treatment on the same terms as surgical and other medical care.  

Such services should be subject to the same terms and conditions as care and treatment for any other condition, without regard to diagnosis, severity, or cause.

Equality for Behavioral Health Care Video
MHA AZ at the Table

MHA AZ has been proud to parter with the The JEM Foundation and the Arizona Coalition for Insurance Parity since early 2019. This Coalition and public forum met bimonthly to integrate Arizona and national partner voices to discuss potential legislation and policy priorities for the 2020 legislative session. With the participation of the American Psychiatric Association and the Kennedy Forum at these meetings and calls, we have had access to national strategies, model legislation and ongoing technical assistance for ensuring parity compliance in Arizona and across the country.

These ongoing conversations with state leaders, insurance companies, lobbyists, mental health providers, advocates and legislators ensure that Arizona law and insurance practices enforce the Mental Health Parity and Substance Abuse and Addiction Equity Act. The scope of determining existing gaps within Arizona is vast with regards to coverage, reporting, consumer education, reimbursement and workforce capacity. MHA AZ is incredibly thankful to the community partners and experts who are leading discussions about access to care in our state.

MHA AZ strongly supports advocacy and legislative efforts which include peer and family voices. The JEM Foundation has been a driving force for parity enforcement as they passionately work to honor the memory of their son Jacob Machovsky, who was lost to suicide on January 11, 2016.

The JEM Foundation developed the above Equality for Behavioral Health Care Video as part of their mission to end youth suicide, improve the lives of those struggling with mental illness, while providing support for loved ones. Learn more about the JEM Foundation at

Arizona Data from Milliman Report
Real Families. Real Impact.
What Can Be Done on the State and
Federal Level?
Insurance and health plans must:
  • Raise reimbursement rates for MH/SUD providers to establish on par provider networks.
  • Lessen burdensome utilization review practices, delays and administrative burdens that keep providers from joining networks.

State and federal regulators must:
  • Enforce the Federal Parity Act by conducting audits that uncover reimbursement, network admission, and utilization review disparities to address problems identified in the Milliman report.

State and federal legislators should:
  • Strengthen parity enforcement through legislation and oversight. 
Federal Efforts to Address the Milliman Report, November 19, 2019

Given the Milliman Report’s compelling data on disparities, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, former Congressman Jim Ramstad (co-author with Patrick of MHPAEA), Paul Gionfriddo (President and CEO of MHA) , and Angela Kimball (Acting CEO of NAMI) sent a letter to Chairman Pallone of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Scott of the House Education and Labor Committee, calling for hearings on parity and MH/SUD coverage. 

The letter urges the Committees to prioritize policy solutions that will increase access to care and hold insurers accountable under MHPAEA .
VIDEO: Mental Health Parity
The New Frontier of Civil Rights
"In order to make change at the federal level and state level, the best action people can take is to come to the awesome realization that they can no longer remain quiet."

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy

Filing a Parity Appeal or Complaint
Insurance Commissioner
Arizona Department of Insurance, Interim Director
2910 N. 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 364-3100

Utilization Management Appeals
Arizona Department of Insurance, Life & Health Division
2910 N. 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 364-2393
External Review Appeals
Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau Chief
2910 N. 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 364-2499
Parity Appeals
Arizona Department of Insurance, Life & Health Division
Director, Department of Insurance
2910 N. 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 364-2393

When filing an appeal for the first time , you should contact your health plan’s customer service support line or check out their information online.

If you choose to appeal an adverse benefit determination concerning your mental health or substance use treatment or benefits, please keep in mind that the timeframe to do so varies by state, plan type, and other factors. Contact your state’s department of insurance for additional information.

For More Information — A website where consumers can learn to file an appeal and/or register a complaint against their health plan after being wrongfully denied coverage for mental health or addiction treatment services. — A website where policymakers, consumers, and media can track legislative, regulatory, and legal parity activities in all 50 states and at the federal level to monitor implementation and best practices. — A website that educates consumers and providers about patient rights under the Federal Parity Law and provides downloadable materials for use in patient settings. 

MHA AZ Board of Directors

Josh Mozell, JD, Board Chair
Chuck Goldstein, MD, Vice Chair
Jason Bernstein, CPA, Treasurer
Matthew Moody, MC, Secretary
Karen Pitico, LCSW, MPH
Marcus Johnson, MPH
Laurie Goldstein
Chuck Montgomery
Amanda Stamps
Adwoa John
Laura Dix, MS
Gregory Robins

MHA AZ Staff

Erin Callinan, MSW, Associate Director