STATEMENT: Illinois Awarded $1.3 Million in Funds to Improve Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care; Final Report of the Federal Parity Task Force Released
November 1, 2016

October 31, 2016 – Illinois – The undersigned organizations issued the following statement today regarding the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH and SUD) Parity Task Force report released on October 27th and the announcement today that Illinois will receive a $1.3 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to plan and implement Insurance Market Reforms.

“Today Illinois consumers clocked a win – The Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) announced it has been awarded more than $1.3 million from Federal CMS to implement insurance market reforms, including funding to ensure consumers have access to the mental health and substance use disorder benefits they pay for in their health plans. This much needed infusion of support will help to fully implement laws that require insurance plans to cover behavioral health services on par with physical health care, including stronger enforcement of current law and more outreach to consumers to inform them of their rights and remedies under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and Illinois parity laws. We look forward to working with the IDOI and others to advance this work and applaud them for proactively seeking support for this on behalf of Illinois consumers.”

“This funding support for parity implementation comes on the heels of last week’s release of the final report of the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH and SUD) Parity Task Force. The report includes meaningful recommendations and initiatives, among them directing an additional $9.3 million to states to strengthen implementation of the Parity Act, supporting additional technical assistance to state regulators toward better parity compliance in commercial insurance and Medicaid and taking important initial steps to both strengthen consumer rights to disclosure of their health insurance information and simplify the complaint process for consumers.  We concur with the statement of national and state leaders issued following this report that outlines where the Task Force falls short, and agree that much additional work remains to help individuals and families who need mental health and substance use disorder care realize the full promise of mental health and substance use disorder parity.


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Community Behavioral Healthcare   Association of Illinois

Gateway Foundation

Health and Medicine Policy Group

Illinois Association for Behavioral Health

Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy

Illinois Psychiatric Society

MADO Healthcare

NAMI Chicago

Popovits Law Group, P.C.

Rosecrance Health Network

The Kennedy Forum Illinois