The Obama administration has ruled that certain health benefits must be offered by most health care providers by next year. 32 million people will be able to gain access to mental health care coverage. The new ruling will provide the insured with coverage for treatment of mental and behavioral disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and even others. Kathleen Sebelius (sec. of health and human services) said that about 30 million people will see improved health care benefits. The White House wants to expand coverage. Previously, about 20% of people did not have mental health coverage and about 33% did not have substance abuse coverage. Sebelius says that consumers will be able to more easily compare health plans. She said, "it is difficult for consumers to make well-informed choices because benefits, deductibles, co-payments, and other features vary widely among competing health plans." Minimum benefits will vary by the states, depending on specific employers. States can even add extra benefits to plans, but the costs will have to be covered by the states themselves. Costs will be limited to consumers in several specific ways. States will be accountable for enforcing the new laws and standards. The federal government will intercede if needed. Under the new rule, dental care and vision services for children will be covered.
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2/22/2013 06:48:08 am

This is a great article and a great response. In my opinion, the United States government has not done enough to ensure mental health care to all of its citizens. I believe that if our mental health care system was better (in terms of the effectiveness of its treatments, as well as the availability of its treatments to those in need), then societal violence may decline.

Katie Hill
2/23/2013 01:43:28 am

With all of the mass shootings and social violence that has increased in the past several years, it's clear that mental health is something that is not being properly addressed. I hope that with this new mental health coverage, people will feel more comfortable getting the help they need or the help their family/friends need because it's more affordable. I think this is long overdue and am glad it's finally happening.

Laura Renzi
2/28/2013 11:30:42 pm

I think it is good that mental health is now covered and it something that our country needs to take more seriously. Although it is ignored in some cases, I also think that sometimes it is easy to come by antidepressants and other drugs for mental health. It is no longer hard to get diagnosed with depression, ADD, or ADHD. I think that before prescribing drugs to a person, alternatives should be looked at. I do think it is necessary for our country to keep an eye and support people who do have mental issues.


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