Affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse gets harder to find
(Washington Post) – Eleven years after Congress passed a law mandating that insurers provide equal access for mental and physical health care, Americans are actually finding it harder to obtain affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. The barriers to parity continue despite a bipartisan consensus that more must be done to confront the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic, rising suicide rates and surging rates of teen depression and anxiety.
A report published by Milliman, a risk management and health-care consulting company, found that patients were dramatically more likely to resort to out-of-network providers for mental health and substance abuse treatment than for other conditions. The disparities have grown since Milliman published a similarly grim study two years ago.
The latest study examined the claims data of 37 million individuals with commercial preferred provider organization’s health insurance plans in all 50 states from 2013 to 2017.
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