Mental health is seldom discussed or given enough time by families and communities not until this generation. For some reason, people with mental health issues may commit certain unnecessary actions due to depression, loneliness, and anxiety-like committing suicide. Majority of people who experience a mental illness do not die by suicide. However, more than 90 percent have a diagnosable mental disorder of those who die from suicide. For people who died committing suicide, their condition usually undiagnosed, under-treated, or untreated depression.
Suicide statistics according to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
• Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
• For every suicide 25 attempt
• Suicide costs the US $51 billion annually
Health Insurance Considerations
Being healthy is not all about being physically fit. First and foremost, one must be mentally fit together with being physically fit for a well-rounded health. Most insurance company promotes the healthcare aspect as the most but what about mental health care?
In the past years, many health insurance companies provided better coverage for physical illness as the demand is high than they did for mental health disorders.
In 2008, a law was passed called the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (also known as the mental health parity law or federal parity law). This law requires coverage of services for the following:
- mental health
- behavioral health
- substance-use disorders
The list is to be comparable to physical health coverage. Up to this day, many people still aren’t aware that the law exists or how it affects them and in 2014 APA survey about the mental health parity law, it was found that more than 90 percent of Americans were unfamiliar with the subject.
How the Federal Parity Law works
Basically, to treat mental and behavioral health and substance use disorder coverage equal to (or better than) medical/surgical coverage as the federal parity law requires insurance companies. This only means that insurers must treat financial requirements equally. What’s good about this law is that it has essentially eliminated such annual limits. This law, however, does not prohibit the insurance company from implementing limits in relation to medical necessity.
How to use your mental health coverage
Check with your insurance company for specific details about your coverage. As a result of the parity law, your deductible should apply to both mental and physical health coverage and it’s best to talk to your provider.
The most important part of this law given the Mental Health Insurance coverage is that for people who have possible mental health disorder, would be given proper care.