Calling for Full Implementation of the Mental Health Parity Act

The Affordable Care Act insurance revisions that went into effect January 1, 2014, are continuing to have problems providing effective drug addiction treatment to those in need. Low-income individuals are still not getting treatment for addiction, even when treatment beds are available. The system continues todiscriminateagainst those who cannot afford to pay for quality care themselves, despite the Mental Health Parity Act’s regulations.

Many drug rehabilitation centers report that they have had to turn away new patients who qualify and are entitled to care under new health care laws, but are restricted by older laws that limit how many people they may treat. This continues to cause needless suffering. Laws must be revised to conform to and support one another. Most professionals and academics agree that health care plans are not working to provide timely care. Insurance companies continue to fight with physicians and facilities about the length of stay and type of patient treatment that is covered. Substance abuse and mental health are supposed to receive treatment equal to other medical conditions, but sadly, this is not a reality yet.

Most drug addicts think that they can quit when they want to. What most users do not realize is that the drugs they abuse alter their brain function, which makes it harder if not impossible for them to stop on their own. Treatment is therefore not only necessary, but for most the only way that they can get a jump on recovery. Studies have shown that even the most severely addicted individuals can recover with effort, education and perseverance.

Addiction treatment centers staffed by trained professionals can help addicts navigate through the healthcare system. Most places have full time staff dedicated to working with insurance companies to help individuals get the greatest coverage available to them.

Whether it is within the realm of substance abuse or mental health treatment, there is a need to ensure that individuals who need treatment get it, as mandated by the Mental Health Parity Act. Individuals should not hesitate to seek help for drug or alcohol problems and develop a treatment plan with the help of healthcare professionals.

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