Health Coverage for Mental Health Services

Q:

"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?"

A:

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 (chadd.org) 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.

Robert Tudisco is a lawyer who specializes in ADHD. He lives in White Plains, New York.
 
 
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