Parity Report Grades States on Parity Laws

To:         NAMI Leaders

From:    NAMI Advocacy & Public Policy Team

Date:     October 3, 2018

RE:         Just Released: Parity Report Grades States on Parity Laws

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Today, on the 10th anniversary of the federal parity law, the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity just released several new reports and guides on the current state of parity across the country, including:

  • Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes: State Report Cards
  • Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes: A Technical Report
  • What is Mental Health Parity? A Consumer Guide to the Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes Report

 The state report cards give each state a letter grade on their state statutes, or laws, on parity coverage of mental health and addiction care. We expect media may contact NAMI leaders for comment. To help prepare you, we’re offering the following talking points. You can also feel free to refer media requests to media@nami.org.

Resources

We encourage you to visit www.paritytrack.org/anniversary, and note that model parity legislation is available under the Resources menu.

Social Media

Follow @NAMIAdvocacy and retweet our parity thread.

Intro Talking Point

  • Parity—covering mental health and addiction care at the same level as other health care—has been a priority issue throughout NAMI’s history.

If you agree with the findings of the report:

  • NAMI fought successfully for the federal parity law and on the 10th anniversary of its passage, we call on elected officials in our state to fulfill the promise of equal treatment under the law.
  • This new report highlights what we’ve been saying all along, that people are still being denied mental health care when they need it the most.
  • You wouldn’t deny a person with diabetes insulin or kick a heart patient out of their hospital bed because they’ve reached an arbitrary limit.
  • We hope this will be a wake-up call to the leadership of our state and we look forward to working with them to ensure greater enforcement of the federal parity law.
  • No one should be denied health care simply because their illness is related to mental health or addiction.

If you disagree with the findings of the report:

  • NAMI fought successfully for the federal parity law and on the 10th anniversary of its passage, we appreciate the efforts of the Kennedy Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity to evaluate our state on parity; however, they missed the mark.
  • [Optional] Our state may not have passed strong parity laws, which was what this report measured, but it does have an insurance division [or attorney general] that has taken encouraging action to provide fair coverage for people with mental illness.
  • NAMI {State Organization} and leaders in our state have worked tirelessly to ensure that people with mental illness receive treatment equal to that of any other health condition.
  • We will continue to work with our partners to build better lives for the people in our state affected by mental illness.

 

Hannah Wesolowski
Director of Field Advocacy
Advocacy & Public Policy
NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness