3 insurers to pay out $3.1M after health parity violations

Aetna, Oscar Health and Wellfleet must pay $3.1 million after allegedly violating federal and New York mental health parity and cost-sharing laws.

A review by the New York Financial Services Department announced the payments after reviewing biannual parity reports from the payers, which found that the insurers had policies requiring members to illegally pay copays or coinsurance for mental health and substance use disorder benefits, according to a department news release

Between fines for parity and data-reporting violations, the payers owe $2.6 million in penalties and must return $473,565 to members. 

"New York's Parity Laws are some of the strongest and most effective in the nation and require that insurers apply the same standards for access to mental health and addiction treatment services as they do to medical and surgical care," said Ann Sullivan, MD, New York Office of Mental Health commissioner. "By partnering with OMH and [Office of Addiction Services and Supports] to ensure the laws are followed, the Department of Financial Services is helping increase access to services and ensuring that vulnerable New Yorkers are able to get the treatment and services they are entitled to."

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