This bill would require all Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, it would prohibit states from imposing lower financial or utilization limits on mental health treatment than those placed on physical health treatment.
What is House Bill H.R. 3192?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 3192
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) introduced this bill to ensure that all pregnant women and children covered under CHIP have mental health support:
“For generations, our nation’s failure to guarantee and enforce mental health parity has left families helpless as their loved ones suffer in silence… Even in the midst of a deeply contentious health care debate, support for children and pregnant women experiencing mental illness should unite my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. As Congress considers the reauthorization of CHIP, extending the simple promise of parity to these beneficiaries must be a priority.”
The American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) supports this bill as a means to improve mental health access for the children and pregnant women enrolled in CHIP. In addition to the APAPO, numerous organizations including the American Hospital Association and United Way authored a joint letter expressing their support for the bill.
There are 22 cosponsors of this bill, including five Republicans and 17 Democrats.
Of Note: CHIP covers 8.9 million children and pregnant women in the United States. In general, CHIP plans already include mental health coverage and substance abuse treatment; so this bill would not substantively change enrollees’ coverage. There remain, however, 5% of current CHIP plans with limited or no access to mental care — and in these cases, this bill would expand their enrollees’ coverage to include mental health and substance abuse treatment.
There is precedent for the federal government using its power to require mental health coverage in plans. Under the Affordable Care Act, plans offered through health insurance exchanges are required to cover services for mental health and substance use. Additionally, there is generally mental health coverage in private plans. In 2015, 91% of employer health plans covered mental health treatment, up from 4% in 2014. Taken together, these two facts illustrate the movement towards considering mental health and substance abuse support as part and parcel of health coverage.
- Cosponsoring Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) Press Release
- CBO Cost Estimate
- American Psychological Association Practice Organization (In Favor)
- Letter of Support by Numerous Organizations
- American Hospital Association (In Favor)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: Nikodash / iStock)
CHIP Mental Health Parity Act
To amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to ensure access to mental health services for children under the Children's Health Insurance Program, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Finance
- senate Committees
- The house Passed June 19th, 2018Passed by Voice Vote
Committee on Energy and CommerceHealthIntroducedJuly 12th, 2017
- house Committees