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According to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology “In one decade, teen depression rates went up 60% and overall suicide rates have gone up almost 20%.” Not only is this a crisis but we are living through it. Today, I will be persuading you to understand why mental health should be prioritized and its issues in today’s society. Most of us deal with mental health issues or know someone who does, in this case, I myself struggle with anxiety, and have also done lots of research over this topic.
I will cover why mental health therapy is difficult to obtain, the purpose of the law called the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and what medical necessity is and its role.
To start off let’s talk about why mental health therapy is difficult to obtain. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have insurance, it is still hard to get mental health care. Chances are your insurance is screwing you over.
“1 out 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year,” states NAMI.org, but most of them don’t get help because their insurers do nothing to make sure that their directories are accurate and they provide their clients with misinformation about psychiatrist. These links are also known as “ghost networks” because the lists given to clients even have providers who are deceased. Another issue is also the fact that 51% of the US counties don’t have one single psychiatrists.
Now, let’s talk about the law called the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
As cms.gov puts it, “it is a federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits.” What I have mentioned earlier about what insurance companies are doing, it is considered illegal by the law enforced my congress man, Patrick Kennedy. The law was made to prevent these things to happen but obviously there has been no change. Insurance companies are able to gateway from this law because of a strategy they use called “medical necessity”, in which our issue becomes hopeless.
Now, What’s medical necessity and its role? The best way to explain what medical necessity is, is by imagining that you finally found a psychiatrist that will take your insurance but then your insurance uses their own doctors do prove that it is “medically unnecessary” so that your insurance company won’t have to deal with paying for your needs. As Hassan Minhaj puts it 'Medical necessity is also where you really start to see how mental health is treated way differently than physical health.' But enforcing the Parity Act won’t fix this issue, which is why our job is to complain when your mental health coverage is denied because when patients do challenge denials, they often get reversed. In conclusion, I have told you in detail on why mental health therapy is difficult to obtain, the purpose of the law called the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and what medical necessity is and its role. If you've been denied mental health care, go to www.parityregistry.org because everyone deserves strong mental health coverage.
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