Mental Health Matters Act Passes House, Referred to Senate HELP Committee

H. R. 7780, the Mental Health Matters Act, introduced by Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) in May, has passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. As previously announced, the bill contains a group health plan provision that would amend ERISA Section 502(a) to expand the type of remedy permitted by a civil action brought by the Secretary, a plan participant or beneficiary, or a plan fiduciary to include readjudication of claims and payment of benefits in accordance with plan terms.

Included in the Mental Health Matters Act is a proposal to amend ERISA to provide that any mandatory predispute or coerced postdispute arbitration clause, class action waiver, representation waiver, or discretionary clause with respect to a plan is unenforceable. The bill would also amend ERISA to prohibit any such clause or waiver from being included in a plan document or other agreement with participants. These provisions were originally introduced under H.R. 7740 and announced.