Mental and Emotional Health
Our mental and emotional health is a vital part of our well-being. If we don’t get the help we need, mental and emotional health problems can hurt our relationships with our family and friends, our jobs and even our communities. Those health problems may include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, drug and alcohol abuse and attention deficit disorder, among others.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires most plans that cover mental health to offer the same level of coverage for such health problems as they do for medical conditions. That includes costs like copays, deductibles and coinsurance, as well as treatment limits. Those limits may include number of visits, inpatient days of coverage and how often you can get treatment.
Does your plan include mental health services and cover out-of-network medical care? Then, it must also cover out-of-network mental healthcare. But, you may still need to follow plan rules to avoid high out-of-pocket costs. Those rules may include having your insurer approve services in advance, or getting a referral from your primary care physician (PCP).
Before getting mental healthcare:
- Find out what your plan covers. Find out whether there are any limits or restrictions. See how much you may have to pay for care in and outside of your plan’s network.
- Ask if you need a referral from your PCP before seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment. Ask if you need pre-approval from your plan.
Once you start treatment, keep track of your visits and inpatient days. That way, you’ll know when you are close to reaching your plan’s limits.
Our mental health is a vital part of our overall well-being. It affects how we think, how we feel, and how we act. That’s why it’s important to take our mental and emotional health as seriously as our physical well-being. If we don’t get the help we need, conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, drug and alcohol abuse, and attention deficit disorder can hurt our relationships with our family and friends, our jobs and even our communities.
To make sure you’re getting the care that’s right for you, it’s a good idea to understand the types of professionals who provide mental health services, what type of care your plan covers, and how mental health parity laws may affect your coverage.