Advertise | AdChoices The rule will guarantee that health plans’ co-payments, limits on visits to providers, and deductibles for mental health benefits match those for medical and surgical benefits. It will also ensure that there is parity in residential treatment and outpatient services, a win for the mental health care community because so much of treatment of those suffering from mental illness or addiction is in those settings. It will apply to almost all types of insurance, and is likely to gain an administration battered by its rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act some popularity points. Sebelius briefly addressed the issues with the introduction of healthcare.gov on Friday, saying there have been “inexcusable technology problems,” but said, “the new law is more than a website.” She also said how happy she was to be at the Carter Center in Atlanta, joking, “Anywhere out of Washington these days is a good place to be.” For the 85 percent of Americans who have health coverage, Sebelius said, the Affordable Care Act will expand access to mental health giving children more behavioral assessments and adults more screenings and for those don’t have insurance, “The new health insurance marketplaces are places to obtain coverage,” she said. Sebelius pointed out on Friday that more access to screenings for behavioral health for adults 18 to 30 the age when serious pyschosis often appears could be critical to saving lives. She also said that annually, twice as many Americans die from suicide as they do from homicide.
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Obama administration to require insurers to cover mental health and addiction
The announcement was made with former first lady Rosalynn Carter at a mental health conference Friday morning at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “This is the largest expansion of behavioral health coverage in a generation,” Sebelius said. “The rule is a reality in part because of the leadership of President Obama , who was committed to getting this done this year.” According to Sebelius, the Obama administration will post the parity rule for mental health later this morning. “There’s no question we have to expand access to treatment, services, and support,” she added. Sebelius is at the 29th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to join the former first lady to discuss how access to mental health care could improve with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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