Doesn’t Insurance Have to Cover Mental Health Care? What the Mental Health Parity Laws Really Mean, Part 2

readingCarol McDaid
Parity Implementation Coalition

CFYM Note: This is the second in a series of posts by Carol McDaid about mental health insurance parity and coverage rights under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the first post on Tuesday, Ms. McDaid advised us to learn about the law and be alert for upcoming changes. Remember, the health exchanges open for business on October 1.

Study your mental health care benefits and know your options

Whether you are purchasing insurance for the first time through one of the new health exchanges, interested in changing coverage during open enrollment, or simply frustrated with your mental health coverage, now is the time to become an informed, empowered, and vocal consumer. You need not wait for the MHPAEA final rule or the ACA’s effective date to understand how mental health parity laws can best serve your health needs. If you are engaged now, you are more likely to be prepared for any inequities or discrepancies you might encounter.

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Doesn’t Health Insurance Have to Cover Mental Health Care? What the Mental Health Parity Laws Really Mean, Part 1

healthinsuranceCarol McDaid
Parity Implementation Coalition

CFYM Note: Many people wonder if their health insurance will cover costs for mental health hospitalization, therapy and medication. Read this first post in a series by Carol McDaid that explains your rights concerning equal insurance benefits in relation to physical and mental disorders.

Hint: Our work isn’t over

As a person living in recovery, I know firsthand the struggles people face when seeking mental health and addiction benefits. I understand what it’s like to be sick and in desperate need of treatment, told by my employer I had to go to treatment, but denied care by an insurance company.

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How Can We Improve Timely Access to Mental Health Care Services?

Shortage of mental health care providers

In Tuesday’s expert perspective, Dr. David Baron provided insights into innovative treatment models that have been implemented throughout the country. These models range from rural areas in West Virginia to large urban cities such as Philadelphia and seek to provide broader access to mental health services. At first blush it might appear that these two geographic locations have little in common in regards to access to mental health care...

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A Conversation with David Baron, MSED, DO

david_baronDavid Baron, MSED, DO

Professor and Vice Chair, and Chief of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Care For Your Mind: As the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented, what are the big changes you see for mental health care?

David Baron: Mostly, they are positive changes. More people will receive services whether under expanded Medicaid or purchasing insurance: this will enable them to seek care that they might not have had previously. The key will be making sure there are enough professionals to provide the care that people need and, of course, helping people to understand what kind of care they are entitled to.

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Two Stories of Consequences of Not Having Insurance through Work

On Tuesday, inspired by Labor Day, we looked at three mental health policy issues for employees. One of those was the declining number of people who have health insurance through their work.

What are the ramifications for people who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance?

Today, two members of the CFYM community describe their struggles to access mental health care services in the absence of employer-sponsored health insurance. After her health insurance through COBRA ran out, Janet faced the prospect of highly-restrictive coverage, then no coverage...

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Labor Day Thoughts on Mental Health Policy and the Workforce

Care for Your Mind

young woman in computer lab

As we return from the Labor Day holiday and our annual tribute to the contributions of workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, it’s fitting to take a quick look at mental health policy issues for employees. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) presented new opportunities for people to receive mental health care from their employer-provided health coverage. The Mental Health Parity law attempts to level the field between medical/surgical health care and care for mental health and substance use disorders, while the ACA aims to open access to affordable health care, including behavioral health care services, for more people. Both of these laws come into play, in part, through employees’ health insurance benefits.

Fewer people are getting health insurance through work.

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Ensure the Peer Voice Is Heard in D.C. September 16-17

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Hill Day

The lived experience of a mood disorder must be represented everywhere decisions are being made that affect mental health care. To that end, DBSA is pleased to join NAMI, MHA, and other national behavioral health organizations as a National Council Hill Day 2013 partner. We are indeed stronger together and by joining forces and voices, we can make the most impact.

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Improving the Quality of Life for People with Mental Illness

CFYM Note: Mental Health Advocate Profile posts allow CFYM to highlight an organization’s broader range of advocacy interests and concerns. Today’s profile features the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Any organizations seeking to be featured in a CFYM Mental Health Advocate Profile should submit information about current legislative interests and activities to info@careforyourmind.org. We welcome your submissions!

nami

NAMI is a grassroots organization of individuals with mental illnesses, especially serious mental illnesses, their family members, and friends whose mission is to advocate for effective prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support, research, and recovery to improve the quality of life of persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses.

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