The Affordable Care Act offers one of the biggest expansions of coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders. The law requires that most individual and small employer health insurance plans, including all plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, cover mental health and substance use disorder services. Rehabilitation and habilitation services that can help people with behavioral health problems are also needed. If you get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (such as an HMO or PPO) or another Medicare health plan, check your plan's enrollment materials or call the plan for details on how to get your mental health benefits.
It's a completely anonymous and confidential resource for anyone seeking treatment for substance use disorders or mental health problems in the United States. Cathryn Donaldson, a spokesperson for the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, says that the industry supports parity, but that it's also more difficult to demonstrate when mental health treatment is needed. However, patient advocates say that insurance companies continue to interpret mental health claims more strictly than those for physical illnesses. In February, researchers from the Congressional Budget Office reported that private insurance companies pay 13 to 14 percent less for mental health care than Medicare.
While states determine which of these services should cover for adults, Medicaid and CHIP require that children enrolled in Medicaid receive a wide range of medically needed services, including mental health services. However, many patients continue to struggle to get their health insurers to cover the mental health treatment they need. According to a national survey, less than 1 in 5 people with substance use disorders receive treatment and, overall, nearly 6 out of 10 people with mental illness do not receive treatment or medication, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. If you or a loved one has mental health or substance abuse problems, you're not alone.
These include behavioral health treatment, such as counseling and psychotherapy; inpatient mental and behavioral health services; and substance use disorder treatment. The three-digit national suicide hotline number, 988, works like 911, but for mental health-related emergencies. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers the inpatient mental health care services you receive in a hospital. You can also learn more through the prototype of the mental health and addiction insurance assistance consumer portal and your state's Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).
Many patients, like Bacon, struggle to obtain insurance coverage for their mental health treatment, even though two federal laws were designed to achieve parity between mental and physical health care coverage.