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Mental health, substance abuse coverage doesn't affect employers

Posted On Fri, April 20, 2012

Two recent studies jointly conducted by Thomson Reuters and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration noted that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act won't likely affect costs for businesses.

The reports found that substance abuse spending during 2009 was approximately 0.4 percent, while mental health and substance abuse spending equaled 5.2 percent from 2001 to 2009, when combined.

"Employers need not be alarmed by the new coverage mandates of the MHPAEA," said Dr. Tami Mark, the paper's lead author and senior director for Thomson Reuters. "It seems clear, given the relatively low spending on, and low intensity of use of, mental health and substance abuse services, that the additional cost incurred by employers because of the mandate is likely to be negligible."

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