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Mental Health Moves Closer To Parity In New Insurance Rules Published: November 8, 2013

Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.

NPR reports the rule "breaks down barriers that stand in the way of treatment and recovery services for millions of Americans," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday. "Building on these rules, the Affordable Care Act is expanding mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections to 62 million Americans."

The goal of the new rule is to ensure people who need treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems are subjected to the same co-pays, deductibles, and other benefits that apply to patients who need medical or surgical treatments, according to NPR.

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