Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Stacey Brook

Thesis Mentor

David Frisvold


Mental health parity legislation has gone through a series of distinct iterations each resulting in more strict regulations being placed on insurance providers in order to ensure equality of access to mental health treatment. Parity, by requiring that health insurance plans offer the same coverage and benefits for physical and mental ailments, attempts to expand both coverage and access. From 2008-2015 two distinct federal mental health parity laws were implemented from the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act to the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits package. Alongside these reforms, states responded in kind implementing, expanding, or neglecting the requirements outlined by the federal government. This study tested these mental health parity laws against a population of individuals who self-reported the number of poor mental health days that they had experience in the past 30 days. It found moderate effects from the passage of parity requirements on small employer plans and some, contrary to expected, worsening outcomes from the expansion of parity laws to the individual market in a state.


Mental Health, Parity, Legislation

Total Pages

40 pages


Copyright © 2017 Tyler Shearer