WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Tuesday released the following statement on the Biden administration’s new rules to improve and strengthen mental health parity requirements:

“Insurance companies are legally required to cover mental health and substance use disorders the same way they cover physical health, but they still find ways to dodge compliance and deny coverage. That means millions of Americans are forced to pay out of pocket or forgo the care they need altogether. I’ve been pushing for stronger enforcement of our federal parity laws for years, and as more adults and kids are reporting experiencing feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression, these new rules could not be more important. I’m grateful to the administration for taking these steps to help hold insurers accountable.”

Murphy’s Mental Health Parity Compliance Act was signed into law in 2020 to provide federal and state health insurance regulators with additional tools to monitor and assure compliance with mental health parity laws. Last Congress, Murphy introduced the Parity Implementation Assistance Act  with U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), which builds upon the Mental Health Parity Compliance Act and would incentivize further compliance with federal mental health parity laws. Murphy also plans to reintroduce the Parity Enforcement Act, legislation to hold insurance companies accountable and give the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) the authority to assess civil monetary penalties for violations of mental health parity requirements.