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Medical Equality For All
Depression affects nearly 20 million people in the United States annually, and yet most people with this mental health diagnosis are forced to pay for treatment entirely out of their own pockets. When treatment is covered, insurance companies favor pharmaceutical treatments over psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
The giant disparity in coverage between mental health conditions and medical ones could soon be a thing of the past with the introduction of a new law that puts them on equal footing. The bill, which was recently introduced to Congress, aims to abolish loopholes in our healthcare system that allows insurance companies to provide less coverage for mental health conditions compared to physical ones. The House and Senate have yet to agree on what a corporate tax break would be that would help insurance companies offset the costs they’d inherit. If the bill becomes law, it will:
* End higher copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for mental health treatment compared to physical health treatment.
* Remove the limit on the number of follow-up appointments allowed. Most insurers set a limit on how many therapy sessions a person can have in a year.
* Enhance mental health coverage for those who are self-employed or self-insured.
* Provide coverage for substance abuse treatment.
Have you been frustrated by your depression treatment options? Do you think legislation will help? [U.S. News & World Report]