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As of January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act designated mental health and substance use services as an essential health benefit in Marketplace plans and extended parity protections to the individual and small-group markets. We analyzed documents for seventy-eight individual and small-group plans in 2014 (after parity provisions took effect) and sixty comparison plans in 2013 (the year before parity provisions took effect) to understand the degree to which coverage for mental health and substance use care improved relative to medical/surgical benefits. The results suggest that plan issuers did what the provisions required them to do. Although in 2013 a lower proportion of plans covered mental health or substance use care, compared to medical/surgical care, in 2014 the proportions were the same. If essential health benefit requirements were to be removed and mental health and substance use coverage becomes similar to that in 2013, as many as 20 percent of the plans in our sample would not cover these conditions. To determine whether increases in behavioral health coverage will result in improved access to behavioral health services requires complementary data on the size of provider networks and use of services.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Health affairs (Project Hope)
As federal efforts to stabilize the individual market foundered on abortion coverage, states adopted a variety of approaches. The 2019 payment notice broadened states' options in implementing the ACA.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) evaluation study: Did parity differentially affect substance use disorder and mental health benefits offered by behavioral healthcare carve-out and carve-in plans?
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Insurance coverage of a physical or mental health condition, disability, or illness existing before health insurance is applied for or enrolled in.
Federal program, enacted in 1997, for the funding of children's health insurance coverage at the state level for low-income families, affording them effective protection against erosions in employer sponsored coverage.
Health insurance coverage for all persons in a state or country, rather than for some subset of the population. It may extend to the unemployed as well as to the employed; to aliens as well as to citizens; for pre-existing conditions as well as for current illnesses; for mental as well as for physical conditions.
Two or more concurrent chronic physical, mental, or behavioral health problems in an individual.
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