When you speak about the overall well-being of an individual, it's important to note that mental health is as important as a person's physical health. There has unfortunately been a stigma that has surrounded issues of mental health, and this has often prevented people from receiving the help that they need with their issues of mental well-being. Thankfully, this is starting to change as more awareness about mental health challenges is becoming prominent thanks to a number of awareness campaigns that have been put out to the public by various mental health advocacy organizations. With the changing attitude toward mental health well-being, there's also a heightened awareness that mental health treatment needs to be covered under health insurance plans in the way that one's physical well-being is covered.
Why it's Needed
One in five teenagers and young adults suffer from a mental health condition, and less than half receive treatment. This should be a red flag to everyone out there about how pressing this issue currently is. This is also a clear signal as to why it's so important that mental health treatment is covered within the scope of today's health insurance plans. There has always been a lingering stigma behind mental health issues, and being able to get the treatment that you need through the use of your health insurance plan is a major step toward the continued fight to combat this stigma.
What is Provided?
As a result of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, insurance providers that do cover mental health treatment are required to offer coverage in this area that's comparable to the coverage offered for matters of your physical health. This law is in effect over insurance plans such as those that are sponsored by an employer or ones that are purchased through a health insurance exchange. It also pertains to the majority of Medicaid programs and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Though this move is certainly one that goes in the right direction, the law doesn't make it a requirement that insurers provide mental health treatment coverage. Rather, they're simply required to cover this treatment equally in the case that it's covered.
Does Your Insurance Cover Treatment for Mental Health?
As previously mentioned, it's not required under the law that a health insurance provider covers treatment for mental health. Due to this fact, it's up to you as the insured to check your benefits description and find out if your particular plan covers treatment for mental health issues.
Mental health issues affect us all. Virtually all of us have known someone who has suffered from the often debilitating effects of mental health difficulties. Therefore, it's a great step in the right direction that there's now a great deal more parity in the health insurance industry in regard to the coverage of mental health treatment as part of the plans that are available today.