A new federal law now in effect says that if you offer mental health benefits, they must have the same aggregate lifetime and annual limits as medical benefits. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees. There’s an exemption for employerswho can show the parity requirements will increase their costsby more than 1%. But you can’t apply for the exemption until you’ve complied with the parity rules for at least six months. Despitethe law, you’re free not to offer any mental health benefits orto limit the amount of mental health benefits in other ways suchas restricting the number of visits covered annually.