Health Insurance Issues – Mental Health Coverage Solutions

Mental health coverage has come a long way with private health insurance companies. It still doesn’t offer the best coverage for everyone, but the improvements that have been made are significant. Still, people need to learn about mental health coverage and see what their best options are when they are shopping for private health insurance. Mental health care is very important in some people’s lives and finding the right coverage is critical. Even just a decade or two ago, this type of insurance coverage wasn’t readily available for people who needed it. By taking advantage of this coverage, you are benefiting from something that was a struggle to even get started.

Every health insurance company has different regulations and guidelines for mental health care. You need to explore the options that you have and determine which policies are going to be most effective for your needs. Look at things like how many visits you are allowed, because many insurance providers still consider this an extra coverage and limit the number of visits that are covered. You should also look at the lifetime coverage limit, if there is one, to make sure that it provides you with the allotted care that you need.

Other things to check out when you are shopping for mental health coverage include deductibles, included providers and whether they are offered, and what the guidelines are for using providers not listed by the insurer. Knowing these things will help you to get a better idea of your options and help you choose the right health insurance coverage for your mental health issues. If you are struggling to find insurance coverage or even if you just aren’t sure what to look for, take the time to talk with an insurance agent who can help you find the best mental health coverage that you can afford. Their services are free and they have the experience that you need.

Being able to get mental health coverage is a blessing to many. Counseling services and anti-psychotic medications are expensive, which keeps many people from getting the care that they need. In the past, people had to prove that they were mentally ill to a point of needing social security and disability benefits before their care was covered by anything. Today, there are dozens of insurance companies that offer mental health coverage, so make sure that you take advantage of that and get the coverage that works for you.

If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help you save up to 50% on your health insurance.

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11 Points For Mental Health Care Reform

Due to greater understanding of how many Americans live with mental illnesses and addiction disorders and how expensive the total healthcare expenditures are for this group, we have reached a critical tipping point when it comes to healthcare reform. We understand the importance of treating the healthcare needs of individuals with serious mental illnesses and responding to the behavioral healthcare needs of all Americans. This is creating a series of exciting opportunities for the behavioral health community and a series of unprecedented challenges mental-health organizations across the U.S. are determined to provide expertise and leadership that supports member organizations, federal agencies, states, health plans, and consumer groups in ensuring that the key issues facing persons with mental-health and substance use disorders are properly addressed and integrated into healthcare reform.

In anticipation of parity and mental healthcare reform legislation, the many national and community mental health organizations have been thinking, meeting and writing for well over a year. Their work continues and their outputs guide those organizations lobbying for government healthcare reform..

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY

1. Mental Health/Substance Use Health Provider Capacity Building: Community mental health and substance use treatment organizations, group practices, and individual clinicians will need to improve their ability to provide measurable, high-performing, prevention, early intervention, recovery and wellness oriented services and supports.

2. Person-Centered Healthcare Homes: There will be much greater demand for integrating mental health and substance use clinicians into primary care practices and primary care providers into mental health and substance use treatment organizations, using emerging and best practice clinical models and robust linkages between primary care and specialty behavioral healthcare.

3. Peer Counselors and Consumer Operated Services: We will see expansion of consumer-operated services and integration of peers into the mental health and substance use workforce and service array, underscoring the critical role these efforts play in supporting the recovery and wellness of persons with mental health and substance use disorders.

4. Mental Health Clinic Guidelines: The pace of development and dissemination of mental health and substance use clinical guidelines and clinical tools will increase with support from the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and other research and implementation efforts. Of course, part of this initiative includes helping mental illness patients find a mental health clinic nearby.

MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM MANAGEMENT

5. Medicaid Expansion and Health Insurance Exchanges: States will need to undertake major change processes to improve the quality and value of mental health and substance use services at parity as they redesign their Medicaid systems to prepare for expansion and design Health Insurance Exchanges. Provider organizations will need to be able to work with new Medicaid designs and contract with and bill services through the Exchanges.

6. Employer-Sponsored Health Plans and Parity: Employers and benefits managers will need to redefine how to use behavioral health services to address absenteeism and presenteeism and develop a more resilient and productive workforce. Provider organizations will need to tailor their service offerings to meet employer needs and work with their contracting and billing systems.

7. Accountable Care Organizations and Health Plan Redesign: Payers will encourage and in some cases mandate the development of new management structures that support healthcare reform including Accountable Care Organizations and health plan redesign, providing guidance on how mental health and substance use should be included to improve quality and better manage total healthcare expenditures. Provider organizations should take part in and become owners of ACOs that develop in their communities.

MENTAL HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE

8. Quality Improvement for Mental Healthcare: Organizations including the National Quality Forum will accelerate the development of a national quality improvement strategy that contains mental-health and substance use performance measures that will be used to improve delivery of mental-health and substance use services, patient health outcomes, and population health and manage costs. Provider organizations will need to develop the infrastructure to operate within this framework.

9. Health Information Technology: Federal and state HIT initiatives need to reflect the importance of mental-health and substance use services and include mental-health and substance use providers and data requirements in funding, design work, and infrastructure development. Provider organizations will need to be able to implement electronic health records and patient registries and connect these systems to community health information networks and health information exchanges.

10. Healthcare Payment Reform: Payers and health plans will need to design and implement new payment mechanisms including case rates and capitation that contain value-based purchasing and value-based insurance design strategies that are appropriate for persons with mental health and substance use disorders. Providers will need to adapt their practice management and billing systems and work processes in order to work with these new mechanisms.

11. Workforce Development: Major efforts including work of the new Workforce Advisory Committee will be needed to develop a national workforce strategy to meet the needs of persons with mental health and substance use disorder including expansion of peer counselors. Provider organizations will need to participate in these efforts and be ready to ramp up their workforce to meet unfolding demand.

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