NAMI Atlanta/Auburn Atlanta/Auburn
 
  NAMI Atlanta/Auburn
  Obama issues new rules on mental health coverage
  How to Handle the Stigma of Mental Illness
  Programs
  Resources
  Become a Member
  Congress Begins August Recess -- Action Needed on Health Reform Legislation


from NAMI.org
Change Starts with Us It's National Suicide Prevention Month. Providing resources and education can help stem the tide of suicides on college campuses.
How is Your Health Insurance Treating You?
NAMIís Convention Was a Colorful Panorama, Energizing People for the Year Ahead
Book Review: Shadows in the Sun
-more at NAMI.org-
stars graphic

 

 | Print this page | 

 

WASHINGTON -- Many Americans will get broader coverage for mental illness and substance abuse treatment under rules issued Friday by the Obama administration.

Health plans offered by employers with more than 50 workers will be required to treat mental health benefits the same way they handle coverage for physical ailments. That means no separate annual deductibles for mental health treatment. And copayments for visiting a psychiatrist or social worker can't be more than the charge for going to the family doctor or a medical specialist.

"Health plans will be under an obligation to provide the same level of coverage for treatment of mental illness as they do for cancer, diabetes and heart disease," said Andrew Sperling of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The rules, which take effect July 1, provide a blueprint for employers to carry out a law passed by Congress in 2008 with broad bipartisan support.

The legislation aims to remove financial barriers to treatment for people with mental health problems. About 140 million Americans in more than 450,000 employer plans will benefit from improved coverage.

The law also prohibits health plans from setting limits on number of visits or hospital days for mental health problems that are different from any such limitations on treatment for medical problems. Sperling said the rules issued Friday clarify that other kinds of treatment limits in health plans, such as case reviews and lists of preferred drugs, may not be used to discriminate against people with mental illness.

The Congressional Budget Office concluded the law would raise costs only slightly, less than half of 1 percent, for employers.


 | Print this page |