Long-Awaited Regulations for Equal Insurance Coverage for Mental Ills and Substance Abuse Treatment

Addiction, whether its alcoholism or drug abuse, is a chronic, progressive disease. It demands a lifelong set of practice as away of living to obtain and maintain a life of permanent sobriety. Many people need help to begin this journey and have not been able to receive the proper care due to financial restraints.

Last month the Obama administration completed long-awaited regulations that will require all private insurers to cover care for both mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses. This regulation

will be the single biggest expansion of mental health coverage in American history!

Out of the 28.1 million Americans with mental illnesses, which include substance abuse, half didn’t obtain treatment in 2011 due to the high associated costs. The new rules for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, announced in November 2013, will finally address generation-long regulatory holes in the law.

The new regulations will address the following for mental health benefits:

  • Prohibits insurers from charging co-payments and deductibles that are more restrictive than other medical care
  • Prevents insurers from placing caps on the number of days a patient can stay in a hospital or visit a doctor’s office.
  • Removes limitations on a recovering addict’s rehab facility options. An insurer cannot place geographic limitations if it doesn’t already place those restrictions on other medical care.

Among those who will benefit from the new regulations are veterans and children suffering from “invisible wounds” associated with mental health and substance abuse issues.

These new laws and regulations will extend to those covered in the Affordable Care Act and affect roughly 85 percent of the population – whether policies are from employers, group plans or individual plans purchased in the market.

Treatment for mental health and substance abuse is considered essential in 10 categories of benefits, thus mandatory in market insurance plans.

Are you or a loved one in need of finding support and a life of permanent sobriety? Contact us today to talk to one of our addiction recovery professionals.