Earlier this week, NAMI released a report, Mental Health Parity at Risk, that highlights how badly health insurance plans treated people with mental illness before the ACA. Join us on Wednesday, June 20 at 4 PM EDT to hear from Georgetown University researchers about what they learned in researching the report—and how recent Administration actions may jeopardize mental health coverage in your state.
The report reviewed barriers and gaps in insurance coverage for mental health and substance use services prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report found that, prior to the ACA:
- 28 states had no requirement that individual market health insurance plans cover or even offer mental health services;
- Health plans avoided enrolling individuals with mental health or substance use conditions by screening applicants;
- Even when individual market insurance was accessible, insurers effectively fined people with a history of mental health or substance use conditions by applying a 20–50% increase in premiums while also excluding needed mental health and substance use services; and
- Plans often used lifetime caps, limits on outpatient visits, limits on inpatient days covered, restricted access to mental health medications and high cost-sharing for mental health services.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made mental health and substance use services an essential health benefit (EHB), there are new threats that would weaken protections in insurance coverage and hurt people with mental illness.
Join us on Wednesday, June 20 to hear from the authors of the report on their findings, how current threats could impact coverage of mental health and substance use services in states across the country, and how states can act to protect Americans that live with mental health and substance use conditions.
Kevin Lucia is a Research Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Dania Palanker is an Assistant Research Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.