ADVOCACY REPORT UPDATE
NAMI Report Finds There’s A Long Road To Go On Mental Health Parity
So, you have health insurance. What mental health and substance use care can you get? From which providers? At what cost? Do your benefits compare to coverage for other types of medical conditions? To answer these questions NAMI surveyed over 2,700 people nationwide given new protections under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act.
Read all about it in NAMI’s new report: A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care. Our survey found that people with mental illness and substance use disorders have trouble getting mental health care even when they have health insurance coverage. Specific problems found include:
Significant difficulties in finding mental health providers in health plan networks;
Denials for mental health care at rates far higher than for other types of medical care;
Inadequate coverage of psychiatric medications in health insurance plans;
High out of pocket costs in health insurance plans that sometimes cause people with mental illness or substance use disorders to forego needed care;
Lack of transparency and information about health insurance plans that make it very difficult for consumers and families to make informed decisions about the plans that are best for them.
Read more. http://www.nami.org/parityreport
NY Attorney General Scores Fifth Mental Health Parity Victory
In a mental health parity victory in New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement agreement with Excellus Health Plans in March. The investigation found that Excellus denied mental health claims at almost twice the rate of other medical-surgical claims. This settlement is the fifth settlement by the Attorney General’s office since last year. Other settlement agreements have involved: Cigna Corp., MVP Health Care, Emblem Health and Beacon Health Options, formerly known as Value Options. Read more: http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-settlement-excellus-health-plan-end-wrongful-denial-mental
Learn More About Mental Health Parity!
After years of NAMI advocacy letters, making phone calls and visits to members of Congress mental health parity is finally the law of the land. Now it’s time to make sure that the law works to give people the treatment and supports they are entitled to. To help you understand and advocate, NAMI developed an infographic showing the basics of what mental health parity, how to tell wehther a given health plan has to follow this law, how plans are required to comply and what to do if the plan is not performing as required.
Bright Spot: NAMI Florida
After years of neglecting mental health services, over 100 mental health bills were filed this session in the Florida legislature. Many of those bills have been combined into omnibus legislation in the House (HB 7119) and Senate (SB 7070). NAMI Florida was there to advocate to strengthen these important bills.
Follow some of NAMI’s Policy Team on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what is going on in #MentalHealth Policy @NAMIPolicyWonk and @DarcyGrutt.
Thank you for your advocacy!