The White House recently announced new steps to expand access to mental health care in America. Almost 15 years ago, the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) became law. It called for health insurance companies to cover mental health care and substance use disorder treatment at the same levels of physical healthcare.
The Biden Administration’s new MHPAEA proposal would significantly improve health plan compliance and strengthen our nation’s parity enforcement to ensure that people with mental health and substance use disorders do not face arbitrary barriers from insurance providers and receive the care that they need.
The administration has made great progress in increasing access to comprehensive mental health and substance use care by improving crisis services and suicide prevention through the 988 crisis hotline and addressing youth mental health. Also, through expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics funded under the Safer Communities Act, these clinics provide a range of services, including crisis support available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and they serve anyone who needs care regardless of their ability to pay. There are now 500 clinics in 46 states.
For further information on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act or if you would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.