ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ADOPTS RULES TO IMPLEMENT JAKE'S LAW
Phoenix, AZ - The Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI) has finalized its new mental health parity rules regarding Arizona insurers compliance obligations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
The new rules will take effect on September 4, 2022 and are a culmination of efforts in response to the passage of SB 1523 (Laws 2020, Ch. 4), known as Jake’s Law, requires insurance companies to cover mental health treatment, just like they would with an annual physical https://difi.az.gov/jakes-law.
“These rules move forward in both the letter and spirit of Jake’s Law by adding structure and clarity to DIFI’s role in administering MHPAEA,” said DIFI Director Evan Daniels. “I appreciate the hard work of the Mental Health Parity Advisory Committee and DIFI staff who drafted the rule and guided it through the rulemaking process.”
The new rules will help DIFI evaluate health insurer compliance with MHPAEA requirements to monitor Arizonans’ access to mental health and substance abuse services through their health plans. Insurers will begin making confidential reports to DIFI in March 2023. However, insurance consumers concerned about access to, or parity of, mental health or substance use benefits under their health plans can make complaints to DIFI any time using the agency’s online complaint form.
Statistics indicate nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosed mental health condition in any given year. Among people ages 10-34, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States and the 8th leading cause of death in Arizona. The COVID-19 pandemic only increased the number of people reporting adverse mental health symptoms, increased substance use, and suicidal ideation.
For more information on Jake’s Law, DIFI’s rules, and MHPAEA more generally, visit https://difi.az.gov/content/mental-health-parity-1