Despite the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), a federal law meant to prevent issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits compared to medical/surgical benefits, many insurance companies still deny claims. The passing of the Affordable Care Act took parity one step further, expanding mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans. However, insurers still refuse to cover treatments for mental health conditions.
Addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment centers not only save lives, but they can also give individuals the tools to turn their lives around. Mental health recovery is good for everyone; there isn’t a family in America that does not include at least one loved one living with mental illness. Those who have access to evidence-based mental health services can recover, and so can their families.
As mentioned above, laws are in place to protect people with health insurance from being denied coverage. And still, the fight for mental health parity continues. One of the leaders of the effort to ensure Americans receive the benefits they deserve is one of the most vocal parity advocates, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
“Don’t Deny Me” Coverage
Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, is no stranger to mental illness. It just so happens that the younger Kennedy is in addiction recovery. He was one of the architects of the MHPAEA, along with the bill’s co-authors Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici.
While Mr. Kennedy is no longer a member of Congress, his battle to ensure Americans living with mental illness are afforded favorable benefits continues. He is spearheading a new campaign to raise awareness about parity and is encouraging individuals to join the fight to take insurance companies to task. The campaign website states:
Join us in creating a consumer-driven movement to demand parity rights and save lives. More and more frequently, families are being ripped apart by overdoses and suicides because their health plans failed them. Recovery from mental health and substance use disorders is possible with treatment. Let’s break down the barriers to care with one powerful voice.
The webpage gives consumers valuable information about what to do if they feel their insurance provider is violating parity laws. It turns out, most people have no idea that their parity rights are being infringed. Please follow the link to learn more about mental health parity and discover ways you can join the effort to ensure that all who need assistance get the coverage they deserve under the law.
At Celebrate Hope, we work together with your health insurance company to ease the financial burden of Christian addiction treatment. Please contact us if you are in need of assistance for yourself or a loved one; you can start celebrating hope today.