Health Coverage for Mental Health Services


"My health insurance company denied me coverage for my ADHD and depression treatment. Is it legal for people with my diagnoses to be excluded from affordable health-care benefits?"


Mental health parity is a complex issue that disability advocates have been fighting for for years. Under our current federal system, there is no law that guarantees the same access to treatment for a mental health condition as for a physical illness. States are permitted to give the public more protections than federal law allows, however, so you may want to check with your state’s department of insurance.

The good news is that a bill that would prohibit discrimination against mental health coverage unanimously passed in the Senate on September 18, and a similar one in the House of Representatives (HR 1424) passed on March 5. Log on to CHADD’s legislative action center ( for assistance in contacting your U.S. senator and congressional representative in support of the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. Let your local member of Congress know how strongly this issue impacts you, one of their constituents, and the mental health community as a whole.

Since Robert Tudisco was diagnosed with ADHD, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of special education law and disability advocacy, and now specializes in the area as a practicing attorney. He is a former Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized coaches for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment. He has served on the National Board of Directors of CHADD and is a former Vice President of ADDA. He is a frequent resource for the media, including CBS News, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, The BBC, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.
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