Biden FY 2023 Budget Asks for Increased MHPAEA Enforcement Funds and Powers

President Biden recently released his FY 2023 budget, which includes new and drastically increased funds to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). 

From a financial perspective, Biden calls for a $125 million budgetary allotment to the states to assist with MHPAEA enforcement. State regulators can approve plan designs of fully insured group and individual health plan options. This makes funds to enforce parity critical. Biden also requests an additional $275 million for the Department of Labor (DOL) to perform MHPAEA audits over the next ten years. 

Biden also requests additional powers to enforce MHPAEA within the budget. For instance, Biden requests Congress to amend ERISA to let health plan participants and beneficiaries better document losses from MHPAEA violations. Biden also wants the DOL to have the authority to pursue third-party contractors and group plan sponsors for MHPAEA parity violations. These third-party contractors include the vendors who design and apply quantitative and non-quantitative treatment limitations (QTLs and NQTLs) for self-funded group plans. 

Biden likely is asking for this change because of evidence showing that it is the third-party contractors as opposed to the group plan sponsors who are committing the MHPAEA parity violations in many cases. The plan sponsors often have no control over the vendors with whom they sign contracts in this regard, nor can they even access information to measure whether the vendors are meeting parity requirements. The DOL can currently only hold the plan sponsors responsible for MHPAEA violations. 

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.
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