The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) of 1996 is a federal law aimed at protecting individuals who receive mental health treatment. It bans health insurance companies and other entities that offer coverage for mental health treatment from setting restrictions on benefits. The act is designed to discourage lifetime maximum financial amounts or providing less coverage for mental health care than would be allowed for physical health care or surgical treatment. There are exemptions for small businesses with 50 or less employees as well as for group health plans that could experience financial strain due to the increased expenses.
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