Mental health parity

Parity means that behavioral health services are covered equally.

With mental health parity, your mental health coverage is required to be equal to or better than what it would be for similar medical and surgical coverage. “Coverage” refers to both cost of treatment and how treatment is managed for mental health services:

Examples of cost of treatment

  • Copayments
  • Coinsurance
  • Deductibles
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Examples of how treatment is managed

  • Prior authorization requirements
  • Not covering certain types of services
  • Access to medications
  • Number of visits covered

What this means for you

Sharp Health Plan covers medically necessary treatment of mental health disorders and substance use disorders for all of our members. As a Sharp Direct Advantage member, you do not need a referral to access in-network behavioral health services.

Learn more about mental health parity laws from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Managed Health Care. Get details about how your specific plan covers behavioral health services by reading your Summary of Benefits and Member Handbook, online through your Sharp Health Plan online account.


Contact our Customer Care team.
We’re here to give you the best health care experience possible. If you have questions related to your behavioral health coverage, we can help. Simply call Customer Care using the phone number on the back of your Sharp Health Plan member ID card.

Sharp Direct Advantage is offered by Sharp Health Plan. Sharp Health Plan is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment with Sharp Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Read the full disclaimer.

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Page Last Updated: 11/01/2023
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