How Your Health Insurance Policy Handles Mental Health Services
When it comes to your well-being and quality of life, mental health is just as important as physical health. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, nearly one in five Americans, or 42 million people, are living with an anxiety disorder, and about 7%, or 16 million people, are living with depression.
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Unfortunately, only about 40% of people who need mental health services get treatment. One of the biggest roadblocks to treatment is that many believe that getting help from a mental health professional would be too costly. At one point, that was probably true. However, because of a 2008 law called the mental health parity law, health insurance companies must provide mental health coverage that is comparable to physical health coverage.
What Does the Mental Health Parity Law Guarantee?
The mental health parity law requires that health insurance companies treat financial requirements equally. For example, if you have a $20 copay for visits to your primary care doctor, your health insurance company must charge a comparable copay for office visits with a mental health professional. On top of that, your health insurance company can’t limit how many times per year you see a mental health professional, as long as those visits are deemed a “medical necessity.”
Does the Mental Health Parity Law Apply to Your Health Insurance Plan?
In most cases, the mental health parity law applies to major medical plans, including:
Employer-sponsored health insurance
Health insurance purchased through Nevada Health Link
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
To find out how your health insurance plan covers mental health services, check your description of plan benefits. A health insurance agent can also help you understand exactly what your plan covers.
How to Find Supportive Services
In addition to professional counseling services, you may benefit from connecting with local supportive services in your community.
Meeting with others and sharing experiences and coping mechanisms can be beneficial for those living with conditions like depression. Oftentimes, support groups meet in area churches, schools and government buildings. In some cases, support groups have online meetings in chat rooms or on discussion forums, which may appeal to you if you prefer anonymity.
Hotlines and Warmlines
Hotlines and warmlines provide immediate help over the phone for people with mental health conditions. Hotlines are typically for crisis intervention while warmlines provide comfort and referral services, and both are easily accessible no matter where you live.
Peer-run drop-in centers are safe places to go for comfort and support. While they typically serve as informal gather sites, in some cases, these centers organize activities like support groups and educational workshops.
Understanding Your Mental Health Coverage with Nevada Insurance Enrollment
Understanding your health insurance policy is vital for receiving the physical and mental healthcare you need without racking up huge medical bills. A Nevada Insurance Enrollment health insurance agent can help you review your current policy or find a plan that meets your needs.
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