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It is Time to Pass Comprehensive Health Insurance Parity!

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It is Time to Pass Comprehensive Health Insurance Parity!

Millions of Americans with mental disorders do not have equal access to health insurance. Many health plans discriminate against these people by limiting mental health and substance abuse healthcare by imposing lower day and visit limits, higher co-payments and deductibles and lower annual and lifetime spending caps.

The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) and is local and state affiliates support comprehensive health insurance parity legislation, which would ban these practices by requiring the same health insurance coverage for mental disorders as physical disorders.

State Actions

To date, 34 states have made into law some form of mental health parity. Several have enacted laws that require insurance parity only for a small set of specified diagnoses or serious mental illnesses, however. These laws discriminate against children and adult whose illnesses can be as disabling as those specified in the laws, but do not fit neatly within the statutes

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FAQs About The Mental Health Parity Act

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The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) provides for parity in the application of aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits on mental health benefits with dollar limits on medical/surgical benefits. In general, group health plans offering mental health benefits cannot set annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits that are lower than any such dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits. A plan that does not impose an annual or lifetime dollar limit on medical and surgical benefits may not impose such a dollar limit on mental health benefits offered under the plan. MHPA

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I am in full agreement with the parity issue with US health insurance policies. However, with my former insurance and group plan, they treated my BP as a medical condition which entitled me to unlimited therapy at medical rates. I would imagine that other insurers may look at BP as a medical condition (it is if you really think about it) and pay the higher rate with less out of pocket expense. Medicare, however, Pays any mental health diagnosis at 50% and the patient is responsible for the other 50% (unless there is a secondary health insurance policy that will pay the balance or a portion of the balance, reducing the cost to the responsible party).

With the rise in people seeking treatment for mental health, I can only see that mental health diagnosis are being treated unfairly. Most genetically inherited mental health issues should be treated as a medical issue in my opinion. Paying lesser amounts for mental health is like being prejudiced or singling out a group of people who really need help but are unable to meet or pay the additional portion that the insurance plan doesn't pay.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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