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Milliman Analysis: Preparing for Mental Health Parity

Steve Melek White Paper Offers Advice to Health Plans

SEATTLE, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time for increasing awareness about mental health issues and getting support to those who need it. This year, health insurers are also looking for guidance as they prepare to implement mental health parity requirements. Milliman expert Steve Melek, FSA, offers advice to health plans and suggests ways to use this legislation as an opportunity to invest in mental health.

Beginning in October 2009, most health plan renewals must offer coverage for behavioral disorders on par with physical coverage. Even though most plans renew January 1st, the effort to adjust benefits, pricing, and networks will generally occur within the next two fiscal quarters.

Steve Melek asks, "Isn't this a great opportunity to change for the better? An investment in more effective behavioral healthcare treatment is an opportunity to improve not only mental health but also physical health in our insured populations. Such health improvements can lead not only to lower healthcare costs, but improved productivity among employees."

Milliman's most recent white paper entitled "Preparing for Parity: Investing in Mental Health" addresses what health plans need to know about parity and describes how they can take a proactive approach to treating the whole patient.

To request a copy of this informative white paper, please contact Steve Melek at (303) 299-9400 or via email at

About Milliman

Milliman is among the world's largest independent actuarial and consulting firms. Founded in Seattle in 1947 as Milliman & Robertson, the company currently has 49 offices in key locations worldwide. Milliman employs over two thousand people, with a professional staff of more than a thousand qualified consultants and actuaries, including specialists ranging from clinicians to economists. The firm has consulting practices in healthcare, employee benefits, property & casualty insurance, life insurance and financial services. Milliman serves the full spectrum of business, financial, government, union, education and nonprofit organizations. For further information, visit

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