Mental Health Parity Still Evading Rural Women Chapter uri icon


  • The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA), originally set to expire under sunset provisions in September 2001, has twice been extended by Congress (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS], 2003; Department of Labor [DOL], 2003). Through piecemeal interim amendments Congress has managed to extend the MHPA in order to continue mental health treatment coverage for workers insured under group health plans under the Act. However, Congress still has not addressed the lack of mental health insurance coverage for millions of individuals who were not covered by the MHPA, many of whom live in rural areas, work for small employers, and work in jobs with lower wages. When the 109th Congress again takes up the debate on mental health parity legislation, federal policymakers will be faced with the growing mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of rural Americans, which some argue are not being adequately addressed under our current patchwork system of regulations and programs for mental health care treatment (Gamm, Hutchison, Dabney, & Dorsey, 2003).

author list (cited authors)

  • Bolin, J. L.

editor list (cited editors)

  • Coward, R. T., Davis, L. A., Gold, C. H., Smiciklas-Wright, H., Thorndyke, L. E., & Vondracek, F. W.

Book Title

  • Rural Women's Health Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Issues

publication date

  • November 2005