Improving Health

NAMI fights for policies to ensure people get the best possible care. About one in five Americans experience a mental health condition, but only half receive treatment. People with mental health conditions should have access to health care coverage that is affordable and includes parity for mental health so they can get appropriate care as early as possible.

ACA Coverage Expansions & Consumer Protections

definition of ACA

NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care. NAMI opposes public policies and laws that undermine or eliminate coverage expansions or consumer protections established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Care in Custody

woman with hands against chain link fence

People with mental illness are overrepresented in our nation’s criminal justice system. Once in jail, many individuals don't receive the mental health treatment they need and their symptoms end up getting worse. We need to improve access to appropriate mental health treatment for people who are incarcerated.

NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions who are incarcerated deserve access to quality mental health treatment. NAMI supports the continuation of Medicaid coverage for people with mental health conditions who are justice-involved and calls for the repeal of the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions who are incarcerated deserve access to quality mental health treatment. NAMI supports public policies and laws that expand and improve access to mental health care within prison and jail settings.

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Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program to expand access to health care, including mental health and substance use disorder care, in community-based settings across the country.

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Commercial Health Insurance

medical bills

Commercial health insurance is purchased by individuals or groups, including employers, to cover health care costs. Most, but not all, commercial health insurance is subject to mental health parity laws. We need to ensure that all health care plans are comprehensive and affordable — and subject to mental health parity — to help people with mental health conditions.

NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports laws and policies that limit the sale of short-term limited duration health plans.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports laws and policies to protect people against surprise medical bills received for out-of-network care.

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Early Intervention

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Early intervention and treatment is essential because the earlier people get help, the better the outcomes. Since 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24, it is critical that we promote greater awareness and early identification of mental health conditions in youth and young adults.

NAMI believes that public policies and practices should promote greater awareness and early identification of mental health conditions. NAMI supports public policies and laws that enable all schools, public and private, to increase access to appropriate mental health services.

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NAMI strongly supports early mental health screening. Early mental health screening should take place in a primary care doctor’s office or in school.

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Medicaid

medicaid puzzle

Medicaid is a health insurance program that provides critical support for millions of people with mental health conditions and is the nation’s largest payer of mental health and addiction services. Medicaid typically covers a broad range of mental health services and supports, and we must make sure that it remains a valuable lifeline for people with mental health conditions.

NAMI believes that health insurance should provide comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder coverage without arbitrary limits on treatment. NAMI opposes block grants or per-capita caps in Medicaid, which impose financing limits that jeopardize coverage and services for individuals with mental health conditions.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports state efforts to expand Medicaid, as indicated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to provide important mental health services and supports to more low-income adults.

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NAMI believes that health insurance should provide comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder coverage without arbitrary limits on treatment. NAMI opposes Medicaid’s discriminatory prohibition on paying for mental health treatment delivered in certain inpatient settings, known as “institutions of mental disease” (IMDs).

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NAMI believes that public policies and practices should promote access to care for people with mental health conditions. NAMI opposes efforts to take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t meet a work requirement.

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Medicare

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Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is available to older Americans and certain people with disabilities, including some people with mental illness. Medicare typically covers fewer mental health services and supports than most Medicaid programs. NAMI advocates for policies to make Medicare more responsive to the needs of people with mental illness.

NAMI believes that health insurance should provide comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder coverage without arbitrary limits on treatment. NAMI supports repeal of Medicare’s discriminatory 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric hospital care.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve access to effective medication and treatment options. NAMI supports Medicare’s “six protected classes” policy to ensure access to a broad range of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications.

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Medications

doctor prescribing medications

Millions of people with mental illness rely on prescription medications to treat their symptoms. We must ensure that people are able to readily access the most effective medications, and we must promote research and development of new medications to treat the wide array of mental health conditions.

NAMI believes that public policies should be guided by credible, evidence-based research. NAMI supports public policies and laws that facilitate research into the risks and benefits that marijuana and other cannabis products have on people with mental health conditions.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve access to effective medication and treatment options. NAMI supports public policies and laws that prohibit step therapy for psychiatric medications.

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve access to effective medication and treatment options. NAMI supports public policies and laws that prohibit therapeutic substitution of psychiatric medications.

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Mental Health Parity

parity insurance

NAMI believes that health insurance should provide comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder coverage without arbitrary limits on treatment. NAMI supports establishment and enforcement of laws and policies that ensure parity between mental health and physical health services in all forms of insurance coverage.

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Physical and Mental Health Integration

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NAMI believes that all people with mental health conditions deserve accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care. NAMI supports coordinated care models that integrate physical and mental health services.

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Protecting Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care

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Veterans’ health care is a national responsibility. Ensuring America’s veterans have timely access to high-quality mental health care is imperative to reduce the high rate of suicide among veterans and improve quality of life after service.

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Telehealth

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NAMI believes that public policies and practices should promote access to care for people with mental health conditions. NAMI supports laws and policies that expand the use of telehealth practices to support a wide range of effective and accessible mental health care services.

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