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Lawsuit Tests Mental Heath Care Insurance Coverage

A lawsuit in federal court in Burlington is testing a law about insurance coverage for mental health care. In 2008, the federal “Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act” required that when insurance plans offer mental health care, it should be similar to the coverage for medical or surgical care.

Now five years later, a woman is suing Fletcher Allen Health Care and claiming their employee insurance program violates this law.

Robert Appel is an attorney who followed the parity law closely during his tenure as head of Vermont’s Human Rights Commission. He spoke with Vermont Edition about the case.