Improve Care

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. Comprehensive coverage of mental health care should be the standard for everyone in our country, along with access to quality treatment when and where people need it.

Protecting Veterans' Access to Mental Health Care

veteran and son

Veterans’ health care is a public trust and 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 to provide quality of life after service.



medicaid puzzle

Medicaid is the single most important financing source of mental health services in the U.S., covering nearly 27% of all mental health care in the U.S. and nearly half of the public mental health spending.

NAMI believes all people with Medicaid coverage should have access to non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services and opposes efforts by state or federal governments to limit or eliminate this benefit. NEMT is a critical benefit for people with mental health conditions that supports regular use of health care services.


NAMI urges all states to expand Medicaid, as indicated in the Affordable Care Act, to ensure more people with mental illness have access to essential health care services and supports.


NAMI believes that federal Medicaid law should be modified to allow for payment of mental health treatment delivered in inpatient settings known as IMDs, or “institutions of mental disease.” People with mental illness should have access to a full range of treatment options and inpatient psychiatric care is an essential component of some people’s treatment.


NAMI opposes any effort to take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t meet a work requirement. Work requirements compromise access to care for people with mental health conditions and hampers their ability to maintain or seek employment.


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.



Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is available to older Americans and people with certain conditions, as well as for people who have been covered by Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for at least 24 months. Medicare covers fewer mental health services and supports than most Medicaid programs.

Couple holding hands

NAMI believes that people with mental illness deserve access to effective medications that treat their mental illness. Specifically, NAMI supports Medicare’s successful “six protected classes” policy, which ensures that people with the most complex conditions have access to a broad spectrum of medications.

woman isolated

NAMI believes that people with mental illness deserve access to mental health care services without arbitrary limits on treatment. NAMI opposes Medicare’s 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric hospital care and supports eliminating this harmful provision.


Parity for Mental Health Coverage

parity insurance

NAMI supports state and federal laws and policies that ensure parity between mental health and physical health services in all forms of insurance coverage.


Psychiatric Advance Directives (PAD)

woman talking to man

NAMI supports public policies and laws that encourage the development and use of psychiatric advance directives (PAD).


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

woman leading group

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both provide needed financial assistance to many people in the United States who have mental health conditions. The two programs are run by the US Social Security Administration (SSA).


Tobacco and Smoking

quit smoking

NAMI is committed to supporting wellness. Cigarette and tobacco use can create significant health problems. Effective prevention and treatment of tobacco use should be part of effective mental health care.