Pondering the ACA: Mental Healthcare

One of the biggest changes in the administration of healthcare services within the ACA is mental health. It is believed to be the largest change in at least a decade. ACA insurance plans MUST offer mental health coverage, and assessment at no additional charge for both adults and children. Depression screening will become part of your visit with a primary health provider. Referrals will be made, just as other wellness referrals such as mammography or lab work.

Mental healthcare will be more widely available, based in the community, and part of the preventive care continuum. This will likely have significant effects on society as a whole. Three quarters of those incarcerated in local jails or state prison have mental health issues. Many of the homeless population go untreated for mental health disorders that if treated, could make them productive members of society.

The ACA builds on the recent legislation of Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity, and expands mental health and substance abuse services. Best of all, no insurer can turn down patients for preexisting conditions, including mental illnesses.
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Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner- MentorRN