Ohio Medicaid achieves behavioral health parity
Today the Ohio Departments of Medicaid and Mental Health and Addiction Services announced that the July 1, 2018 integration of Medicaid behavioral health redesign and physical health care benefits also will achieve the state’s longstanding goal for parity between those benefits. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 defines parity and specifically prevents health plans from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on mental health or substance use disorder benefits than on medical/surgical benefits. Ohio Medicaid assessed its benefits following guidance provided by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and, effective July 1, assured compliance with parity requirements in federal law. This announcement marks a critical step in Governor John Kasich’s strategy to rebuild community behavioral health system capacity and fully integrate physical and behavioral health care services to support recovery for individuals with a substance use disorder or mental illness.