Document Type

White Paper

Publication Date



Bruce Levin


The federal Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 requires insurers to offer the same benefits for mental disorders and substance abuse as they would for physical disorders, including any annual or lifetime limitations and restrictions placed upon such coverage. To date, twenty states across the nation have enacted parity laws for mental health and/or substance abuse benefits. This report summarizes the essential issues facing the state of Florida in the development of state mental health parity legislation, including an examination of the experiences of other states, a look at potential benefits, and a discussion of the impact of managed care and insurance benefit design on the costs of parity for mental health benefits.


Any of this report may be reproduced or used as a part of another public domain publication with proper attribution to the authors of the report and to the Institute. Use in academic or commercial press requires permission from the Institute.