Better coverage coming for mental illness
By Rap Lewis
One of the most under-reported benefits of the new Affordable Care Act is also one of the most transformative.
The law’s near-universal coverage will apply not just to medical problems, but to psychiatric disorders as well. The law combines parity of coverage with the individual mandate requiring insurance.
To grasp the importance of this coverage, consider that about half of Americans will experience a major psychiatric or substance disorder during their lives, according to an authoritative 2005 study cited by Dr. Richard A. Freedman in The New York Times.
Until now, Dr. Freedman notes, “people with mental illness and substance disorders have faced stingy annual and lifetime cps on coverage, higher deductibles, or simply no coverage at all.”
There is solid evidence that timely care can positively change the course of psychiatric illness, Dr. Freedman said.
Older people with mental illness will benefit as the new law phases out the “doughnut hole” over the next eight years, making psychiatric medicines much more affordable.
“This law has the potential to change the course of life for psychiatric patients for the better, and in that sense it is both humane and right,” said Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, president of the American Psychiatric Association.