CENTER CITY, Minn., Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hazelden, which led the long fight to make it easier for people to use their health insurance to overcome addiction and mental illness, lauds the Obama Administration's release today of final regulations to bolster the impact of federal legislation passed more than five years ago.
"We are encouraged by today's action and look forward to working with the Administration and health plans to ensure the significant improvement in access to residential services envisioned in the final rule becomes a reality for individuals and families who need addiction and mental health treatment." said Mark Mishek, President and CEO of Hazelden. "Now it is time to move forward to make sure more people get what they need and deserve to overcome addiction, mental illness or both."
Mishek noted that while many insurance companies already provide some coverage for such illnesses, the lack of defined regulations has made it difficult to fully implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which Congress passed and President George Bush signed into law in October, 2008. "The new regulations make it easier for Hazelden to work more closely with insurance companies so that those with coverage can fairly access treatment services."
The regulations were released today by the Secretaries of the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services.
"Five years after the enactment of the law that bears my father's name, today begins the next chapter on a course that he and many others set out on nearly two decades ago – to ensure that Americans with mental illness or addiction have equal access to health care," said David Wellstone, the son of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, an internationally recognized civil and mental health rights activist.
Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. Built on decades of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including substance abuse treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy and publishing. It currently has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Florida. Learn more at www.hazelden.org.