President Trump’s opioid commission last week focused on health insurance companies’ role in contributing to the addiction crisis. The commission is scheduled to deliver its final report on November 1.
While there have been substantial gains on the issue of parity – making addiction and mental health coverage equal to physical health coverage – much work still needs to be done, especially for children, according to Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors and the National Association for Rural Mental Health.
The state of substance abuse prevention, early intervention and treatment for adolescents and young adults is inadequate. With the promise of the Affordable Care and Parity Acts, there is greater potential for change.
A rule proposed this week by the Obama Administration would allow Medicaid recipients who receive services through managed care organizations or alternative benefit plans to get the same access to substance abuse and mental health benefits as those provided by private health insurance.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act are tremendous steps toward ensuring that all individuals can access substance abuse treatment. But the laws are not silver bullets that will close the treatment gap or help every individual who needs treatment.
The economic impact of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires larger employer-based insurance plans to cover psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders in the same way they do illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, has been minimal, a new study finds.
Addiction and mental health treatment experts say they are hopeful new rules issued by the federal government that require parity between treatment for mental and physical illness will greatly expand access to care. They say a critical component of the rules’ success will be the criteria insurers use to include patients for addiction and mental health coverage.
While extensive research exists on the effects of tobacco use in the general population, few studies focus on individuals with mental illnesses. Further research is needed to address tobacco cessation efforts in this underserved community, explains Legacy President and CEO Cheryl Healton
Three current members of the U.S. House, joined by two former members, argued this week that health insurers are trying to take advantage of customers by decreasing coverage of mental health and addiction treatment.
Implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 has been slow, but there are small signs of progress, according to a coalition that aims to ensure that the law is properly enforced.