ACA Policies Cover Mental Health At Same Level as Medical Benefits

Good news (finally) for people who have social anxiety disorder.  The new Affordable Care Act policies all have the following provisions:

Insurance Cannot Limit Therapy Sessions; Must Pay at Same rate as Medical Visits

The new rule means that insurance companies can’t limit the number of therapy sessions for someone with social anxiety, or put a cap on their medication. In the words of the Health and Human Services Department  the act ensures that “health plan features like co-pays, deductibles and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health/substance abuse disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits.”

Insurance Companies Must Treat Mental Health Care as They Would Physical Disease

In addition to those suffering from mental disorders, victims of addiction should have a new lifeline if they already have or are able to purchase insurance. The new rule requires insurance companies to pay for treatment for substance abuse as if it were a disease in the same way they might pay for treatment for cancer or other physical ailments.

Pre-Existing Conditions Covered

Still more good news: Mental health and addiction problems will be covered by the same rules that require insurers to extend coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

If you have a new ACA policy, your access to treatment for social anxiety disorder will no longer be able to be restricted or cut.  100% parity with medical care means that co-pays and deductibles for treatment will be the same for mental health care as they are for medical care.  

Check your new policy for this clause and make sure your insurance company follows the law.   There is additional information on the Health and Human Services Department's website