Medicaid expansion tagged posts

Repealing the ACA Could Cause a Mental Health Care Crisis

Jeffrey Harman, PhD
College of Medicine, Florida State University

Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers for developing this post.

Our nation’s healthcare system has made impressive progress in the last several years. As a direct result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we’ve reached a record low uninsured rate; the number of unpaid medical bills (or bad debt) has plummeted; and 20 million Americans now have insurance purchased through the ACA marketplace.

But there are imminent threats facing this hard-won progress. Our newly-elected president is staunchly opposed to the ACA. He and congressional Republicans have vowed to repeal Obamacare, with no clear plan for what would replace it.

If they succeed, our country could be facing a health care crisis of unprecedented proportions. Millions of Americans could lose their coverage; hospitals could go bankrupt; people could pay thousands more in out-of-pocket costs.

Is our current healthcare system perfect? Of course not. But it’s a lot better than it was eight years ago, particularly for people living with mental health conditions. We need to continue to improve on what we’ve built, not abandon all progress and attempt to start from scratch.

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Is Your State Participating in Medicaid Expansion?

Let’s look at Sarah, who lives in Tennessee, and Elizabeth, who lives in Kentucky. Both have major depressive disorder, but both are working the maximum number of hours allowed at a mega-store. Even so, they barely stay afloat financially. Their employer does not provide health insurance to them, although if the company made it available, Sarah and Elizabeth would not be able to cover the premiums and deductibles. But Elizabeth can get subsidized health insurance–and mental health care–while Sarah cannot. Why? Read about it in this third post in our series on funding mental health care.

Depression and bipolar disorder—the two most prevalent mental health conditions—affect more than 21 million Americans. Untreated, these and other mental health conditions can exact a huge toll on the American economy:

  • Loss of productivity from mental health disorders costs $63 billion each year
  • Unemployment rate for adults living with mental health conditions is 3-5 times higher than for those without a mental health condition
  • Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.

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To Market, to Market: The Health Insurance Marketplace and You

As of the date of this post, there are 75 days until open enrollment begins on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

With the implementation of the ACA, the Health Insurance Marketplace will be your destination for figuring out how to get the best health care coverage you can within your budget.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans are assured access to health coverage, whether through insurance provided by your (or your spouse’s) employer, a government-administered program, or an exchange (the marketplace).

A Personalized Shopping Cart

The Health Insurance Marketplace provides personalized information about your options for health coverage and provides the mechanism to enroll. You’ll learn whether you can reduce the costs of your monthly premiums from your current coverage through private insurance plans and if you can lower your out-of-pocket costs.

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A Foot (or Seven) in the Door: The Affordable Care Act

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron ManderscheidIt is said that a problem well-stated is half-solved. In my last post, I identified the significant economic, geographic, service system, and interpersonal challenges that can slow or thwart entirely the ability to get needed prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services for behavioral health conditions. I pointed out how, as a result, few people with mental health problems ever get either behavioral or physical health care services, resulting in shortened lives by as many as 25 years.

In this post, I examine ways in which the challenges to accessing behavioral health care can be overcome. In particular, I look at ways in which implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a real and vital tool to help people with mental conditions get, retain, and benefit from individualized, consumer-centered care and services.

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