The number of people that have been diagnosed with mental health conditions in recent times, especially in the US, is a reflection of the need for easier access to mental health and psychiatry services. The mental health of a person is just as important as their physical health.
There were times when health insurance covers were tailored to cater more to physical health needs than mental health needs. Thankfully, those times are phasing out as necessary measures have been developed and applied over time, especially with platforms such as Obamacare Exchange for finding applicable plans.
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act also referred to as the Federal Parity Law or the Mental Health Parity Law which was instituted in 2008 served as a major step towards easier access to mental health services. This law specifies that health insurance providers should provide coverage similar to what is applicable for physical health for mental health access. According to this law, the financial commitment of a health insurance provider must be similar for surgeries, medications as well as mental health services.
From 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that individual and small group insurance coverage be applicable to healthcare services which include mental health and substance use disorders. Other benefits expected to be covered by health insurance according to the ACA include rehabilitative and habilitative services. According to requirements of the MHPAEA, as mentioned above, coverage for medical and surgical services must be restricted equally with mental health services.
Health insurance plans required to be complaint with the MHPAEA requires include small groups and individual insurance covers. It is also noteworthy that large employer plans may also be compliant with the regulation concerning health insurance for medical services.
As long as a large employer plan provides substance abuse and mental health services, it is obligated to be offer similar financial commitments to surgical services as well as mental health services. To confirm the commitment of your insurance coverage to mental health services, you could enquiry whether the coverage includes substance abuse and mental health services.
It is noteworthy that Medicare as well as Medicaid plans also cover mental health and substance use disorder services. Children’s Health Insurance Program also covers mental health services.
For Medicaid, the access to mental health services is determined by the state, for adults. For children, the combination of Medicaid and CHIP allows access to a full range of services which include mental health services. It is also noteworthy that Medicaid coverage for new adult expansion populations includes mental health services.
Medicare covers mental health services in different ways which include the Part A program that covers mental health services one receives within a hospital. The part B program covers mental health services which include those gotten outside the hospital as well as tests occurred by the doctor. The part D Medicare program also covers mental health services which include prescription drugs for managing mental health conditions.
With the specific application of laws such as the ACA to mental health, access to mental health services has improved and applicable plans can be found on Obamacare Exchange.