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Getting Access to Mental Health Care

In recent years, access to mental health care has seen significant improvements. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2010, and more recently the Affordable Care Act, have both taken strides to ensure that mental health care has the same level of availability and standards as medical care services. From the LA Times:

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which took effect in 2010, requires health plans that provide mental health and substance abuse services to do so in equal fashion to medical health services. And the Affordable Care Act requires health plans to include mental health and substance abuse services as one of the 10 essential health benefits that all insurers selling plans to individuals and small businesses must now provide.”

While these changes are huge steps in the right direction, many who seek mental health care are still finding that it is more difficult to do so than to seek medical services. To that end, here are some tips on how to overcome obstacles to receiving mental health care.

Finding a Program

While some substance abuse programs may make bold claims to the effect of your recovery, it’s important to remember that these claims are speculative. A good substance abuse program stresses quality, long-term, intensive care over quick recovery. Look for a program with experienced physicians and an approach that focuses on all aspects of your well being, including physical, mental and emotional.

Make Your Voice Heard

Look for inequalities and disparities between your mental and medical care. According to the LA Times, “insurers are not allowed to make it tougher to get mental health and substance abuse benefits than it is to get other kinds of medical benefits. And they can no longer single out mental health and substance abuse care for limited numbers of inpatients stays and outpatient visits.”

Still, providers may do so. If you feel you’re receiving unequal treatment from your health care provider, there are options available to you. You can file an appeal with your insurer as well as with a third party for independent review.

 

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore, MD our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. To speak with someone at our office, please call us at 410-853-7691. You can also contact us via email, and follow us on FacebookGoogle+Twitter and LinkedIn.

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