Many Patients Still Struggle to Get Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Treatment

Many patients still struggle to get insurance coverage for their mental health treatment, despite federal laws designed to bring parity between mental and physical health coverage, NPR reports.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in 2008, was designed to ensure that treatment for mental illness and addiction is covered at the same level as physical illness. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act required small group and individual health plans to cover mental health services at the same level as medical services.

While the laws have been partially successful, patient advocates told NPR that insurance companies still impose more restrictive standards for mental health claims.

A study published earlier this year reported earlier this year that compared with Medicare, private insurance companies pay 13% to 14% less for mental health care. A study by a research group funded by insurance companies found for the five years ending in 2017, out-of-pocket spending on inpatient mental health care increased almost 13 times faster than all inpatient care.

Cosponsor Legislation to Strengthen the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Millions of families still struggle to pay for addiction treatment. Help secure insurance coverage for addiction treatment by writing to your Members of Congress to cosponsor bills to strengthen the Parity Act.