Congress, Administration Work to Meet Growing Need for Behavioral Health Care

The need for mental health and substance use disorder services is substantial and growing. One in five adults in the United States, or 53 million people, had a mental illness in 2020, including 14 million adults who had serious mental illness; forty million adults had a substance use disorder. In response to these troubling trends, policymakers are seeking multi-pronged approaches to provide greater access to services that treat and manage mental health and substance use disorders. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk outlines how both Congress and the Biden administration plan to improve access to behavioral health care.

The Pandemic Exacerbated Gaps in Mental Health Care Access, but State and Federal Enforcement of Parity Requirements Can Help Improve Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a greater need for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) services, but many have difficulty obtaining timely, affordable care, including the insured. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires plans and insurers that cover MH/SUD services to cover those services in parity with other medical benefits. CHIR’s JoAnn Volk looks at state and federal enforcement of mental health parity requirements, and what these efforts mean for consumers.

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