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Re: Mental Health Insurance parity...what can you do? mair

Posted by gardenergirl on July 6, 2004, at 19:41:02

In reply to Re: Mental Health Insurance parity...what can you do? gardenergirl, posted by mair on July 6, 2004, at 18:06:32

Hi Mair,
I understand feeling guilty. I get my therapy for free while I am in grad school. As long as I am considered actively registered, even if I have to take a year off to finish my dissertation (which would cost me 6 credit hours of additional "research hours" tuition), I can still see my T. So I feel guilty about that because I have a great T. It's hard for me to conceive of convincing my husband that we need to invest in therapy for me down the road.

There is a national parity law that passed in 1996. I believe it is for severe mental illness only (some define this as biologically based). Insurance companies have taken advantage of loopholes by limiting number of visits, charging a cap on total benefit, and charging increased co-pays. All of these are allowed in the federal law, although individual state laws may be more comprehensive and more tightly written. In addition, I think this law applies to companies of 50 employees or more. Again, state laws may be better, and would supercede the federal law.

The Wellstone Act would close these loopholes, so that if a company offers coverage for mental health services, it must be equal to medical coverage...in co-pays, number of visits, cap, etc. This would be a better bill altogether, although state law may still supercede this.

Thanks for your input. I hope some on this board are inspired to write. It really takes hearing from the people affected for change to happen.

I've sent many letters. So many to my state Senator (my state has a parity law pending in the Senate), that when I met him in person, he knew of me and my interests.

Take care,
gg

 

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