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5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years

5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years
The premier resource in the field of Form 5500 preparation, 5500 Preparer's Manual will help you handle the required annual Form 5500 filings for both pension benefits and welfare benefit plans.

CCH® BENEFITS — 07/14/10

EBSA Allows New Sub-Classifications In Mental Health Parity Rules

On July 1, the Employee Benefit Security Administration provided a temporary safe harbor for outpatient mental health benefit provisions that commonly require a copayment for office visits (for example, physician or psychologist visits) but coinsurance for other outpatient services (for example, outpatient surgery, facility charges for day treatment centers, laboratory charges, or other medical items).

Interim final rules to the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) state that separate sub-classifications for generalists and specialists generally are not allowed except as permitted for multi-tier prescription drug formularies. The safe harbor extends that sub-classification allowance to office visits and non-office visits.

In a July 1 FAQ, EBSA noted, that until final rules are issued, an “enforcement safe harbor” will allow a plan or issuer to divide its benefits furnished on an outpatient basis into two sub-classifications for purposes of applying the financial requirement and treatment limitation rules under MHPAEA, as follows:

According to EBSA, “After the sub-classifications are established, the plan or issuer may not impose any financial requirement or treatment limitation on mental health or substance use disorder benefits in any sub-classification (i.e., office visits or non-office visits) that is more restrictive than the predominant financial requirement or treatment limitation that applies to substantially all medical/surgical benefits in the sub-classification using the methodology set forth in the interim final rules.”

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For more information on this and related topics, consult the CCH Pension Plan Guide, CCH Employee Benefits Management, and Spencer's Benefits Reports.

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