To: All Health Insurance Companies, Health Maintenance Organizations and Other Interested Parties

Re: Mental Health Parity

From: Glen Mulready, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner

Date: October 9, 2020

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance regarding 36 O.S. 6060.11 as it relates to amendments passed by the Oklahoma Legislature under SB1718 and effective November 1, 2020.

Oklahoma law requires all health insurance companies to cover benefits for mental health and substance use disorders that are equal to benefits for treatment for all other physical diseases and disorders.  Treatment limitations applicable to mental health or substance use disorder benefits shall be no more restrictive than the predominant treatment limitations applied to substantially all medical and surgical benefits covered by a plan.

All health benefit plans must meet the requirements of the federal Paul Wellston and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended, and federal guidance or regulations issued under these acts including 45 CFR 146.136, 45 CFR 147.160 and 45 CFR 156.115 (a)(3).

Carriers must demonstrate compliance to MHPAEA through the submission of an annual report to the Insurance Commissioner on or before April 1 of each year that details their compliance to the requirements as set forth in 36 O.S. 6060.11(E). The report shall include a comprehensive review of all elements outlined in the act that demonstrates benefits are comparable to and are applied no more stringently than to medical and surgical benefits in the same classifications of benefits. The Department will issue subsequent guidance on the format of this annual report later this month.

Implementation of the requirements as set out in the act shall be included at the time a health benefit plan is offered, issued or upon renewal of a policy on or after the effective date of the act.

Questions or comments regarding this bulletin should be directed to the Legal Division at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, 400 NE 50th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.