Healthcare Insider Blog

Behavioral health treatment more accessible: Affordable Care Act

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Oftentimes, people who suffer from mental health crises end up in an emergency room with nowhere else to turn. This strains hospital emergency services.

The reasons for an emergency room visit vary from patient to patient, but they frequently resulted from the sufferer not having insurance, having exhausted the amount of mental health visits allotted by their insurer or not having the resources available to be aware of and treat their illness before it became unmanageable.

That will all change as mental health treatment becomes an essential health benefit.

Beginning in 2014, mental health and substance abuse services are classified among the ten “Essential Health Benefits” under the Affordable Care Act. The new health insurance marketplaces cannot apply yearly or lifetime dollar limits on coverage of these benefits. Nor can insurers deny anyone coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions.

The Affordable Care Act will benefit both mental health patients and providers. Patients will have the coverage they need, and providers will have more certainty from insurance companies that their fees will be covered, which is great news for behavioral health students and current practitioners.

About one in four adult Americans suffer from a mental illness each year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2012, there were 5.4 million adults suffering from a mental illness who did not receive any mental health services.

It’s great to know that Americans battling mental and behavioral health issues can focus on fighting the illness and not the insurance providers.

For those interested in a Behavioral Health Degree, our program is offered at Reading, Pottsville or Philadelphia locations. Our program maintains an extremely high employment placement rate, and the Career Services Office can provide assistance to graduates with resume preparation, interview help and job search advice.

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