Psychiatr Clin North Am 2016 06 8;39(2):331-42. Epub 2016 Mar 8.
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Parity of mental health and substance abuse insurance benefits with medical care benefits, as well as parity in their management, are major ongoing concerns for adults with serious mental illness (SMI). The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 guaranteed this parity of benefits and management in large private insurance plans and privately managed state Medicaid plans, but only if the benefits were offered at all. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 extended parity to all persons receiving insurance through the state health insurance marketplaces, through the state Medicaid Expansions, and through new individual and small group plans. This article presents an analysis of how accessible parity has become for adults with SMI at both the system and personal levels several years after these legislative changes have been implemented.