SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Ramstad Offers Parity Bill
Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) yesterday introduced a Substance Abuse Treatment Parity Act, which would require employers who offer substance abuse treatment coverage to provide it at levels financially equivalent to other health benefits. Quoting a RAND Corp. estimate that substance abuse coverage would add 43 cents monthly to the average premium, Ramstad said the bill would not mandate that employers or insurers offer any coverage, would not apply to employers with fewer than 50 workers and would not apply "if it would increase insurance premiums by more than 1%." A recovering alcoholic, Ramstad said he "know[s] the value of treatment," and that "you can't justify the discrimination" since "medical science has recognized substance abuse as a disease" (CongressDaily/AM, 5/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.