New Report: “Under–Covered: How Insurance–Like Products are Leaving Patients Exposed”

Mar 25, 2021

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and 29 other leading national patient advocacy organizations released a report today showing the significant risks people that with pre-existing conditions, including people with mental health conditions, face when they enroll in so-called “junk” health insurance plans that offer sub-standard coverage.

The report “Under-Covered: How Insurance-Like Products are Leaving Patients Exposed,” issued by a coalition representing millions of people with pre-existing conditions, details eight different types of health insurance plans that do not adhere to Affordable Care Act (ACA) consumer protections. Protections in the ACA have helped halt discriminatory practices against people with pre-existing conditions, like mental illness, and expanded health coverage options for people with mental health conditions.

The non-compliant plans highlighted in this report can:

These plans put people with mental health conditions at a greater risk for increased out-of-pocket costs, insufficient coverage, financial instability, and unmet health needs. The new report details the specific harms of many types of non-compliant health plans and urges federal policymakers to take immediate steps to protect people by limiting their expansion.

NAMI has a history of advocating to ensure that mental health care is accessible, comprehensive and affordable. In 2018, NAMI filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to invalidate expansion of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans, one type of non-compliant plans.

NAMI continues to call on Congress and the Biden Administration to take immediate steps to mitigate the harm of these substandard products and ensure that people with mental health conditions have access to the care they need and deserve.

Read the full report.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).