Mental health word cloud The plaintiff alleges that having more stringent standards for mental health treatment coverage violates the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. (Image: Shutterstock)

The demand for behavioral health services is soaring during the pandemic, and consumers are beginning to challenge decisions by insurance providers. A class-action lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California alleges that Aetna illegally denied claims for mental health residential treatment services.

In 2019, the plaintiff, who has an Aetna insurance plan through his employer, enrolled his 16-year-old son with autism spectrum disorder in a mental health residential treatment center in Utah. Aetna denied the plaintiff’s claim for reimbursement for his son’s treatment at the residential facility.

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