Behavioral Health Parity and the Affordable Care Act

Richard G. Frank, Kirsten Beronio, Sherry A. Glied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior to the passage of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), about 49 million Americans were uninsured. Among those with employer-sponsored health insurance, 2% had coverage that entirely excluded mental health benefits and 7% had coverage that entirely excluded substance use treatment benefits. The rates of noncoverage for mental and substance use disorder care in the individual health insurance markets are considerably higher. Private health insurance generally limits the extent of these benefits. The combination of MHPEA and ACA extended overall health insurance coverage to more people and expanded the scope of coverage to include mental health and substance abuse benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • cooccurring disorders
  • disability economics
  • disability policy
  • health care
  • mental health
  • mental illness
  • policy
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Sociology and Political Science


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