Mental health parity is a concept that highlights the need for patients to have a similar level of insurance coverage for mental and behavioral health care as they would for medical or surgical services. In 2008, the Mental Health Parity Act was passed to ensure that patients did not receive less coverage for health services like substance abuse treatment as compared to other medical or surgical procedures. With this act, health insurance providers cannot set less favorable benefits for mental health and behavioral health treatments. If you have a mental health or behavioral health condition, this act protects you from paying more for related treatments than other types of health care. 

WhiteSands Treatment is an advocate for mental and behavioral healthcare and a leading rehab treatment center that offers a full range of treatment programs, including inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment. Other services include clinically supervised medical detox, aftercare programming, dual diagnosis treatment, and medication-assisted treatment. Our treatment center is a safe and welcoming setting where patients can get the mental and behavioral health treatment they need to achieve their recovery goals. 

If you have a condition such as a substance use disorder, you can rely on the licensed and experienced clinicians of WhiteSands Treatment. We provide a combination of medically traditional, alternative, and holistic therapeutic approaches to support lasting patient recovery. Although many behavioral health and mental health conditions are chronic, they can be managed. We provide clients with the strategies they need to manage their condition and improve their lives and health. 

Protections like the Mental Health Parity Act help clients access and pay for their healthcare needs. WhiteSands Treatment has a supportive environment with recovery-friendly features like ultra-comfortable spaces and chef-prepared meals. It’s important to get the treatment you need to safeguard your future.

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Defining Mental Health Parity in Healthcare

Mental health parity in healthcare means that medical insurance providers cannot discriminate and offer less favorable mental and behavioral health benefits than physical health. In recent years, legislative changes like the Affordable Care Act have improved access to behavioral health and mental health treatment, addressing the profound need for improved access to these types of healthcare. The Mental Health Parity Act is another layer of protection for people who have a mental health disorder or a behavioral health condition such as an alcohol use disorder. 

While most mental and behavioral health conditions can be managed, they require treatment. This act makes it easier for patients to pay for the treatment they need when they need it. If you are concerned about paying for treatment, contact our rehab center for help. Our insurance specialists can help you determine what your insurance provider will pay for. We can also help you explore other financial options so that you can get the help you need to get better. 

The Importance of Mental Health Parity Laws

These laws prevent insurance companies from offering less coverage for mental and behavioral health treatments compared to their coverage for physical health. These laws support people who have cognitive and behavioral health conditions such as substance use disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. People with these conditions can learn how to manage them more effectively with treatment. Insurance providers cannot unfairly discriminate against people who have mental or behavioral health conditions thanks to these types of laws. 

How Mental Health Parity Affects Insurance Coverage

mental health treatment parity

Before the passage of these laws, insurance providers simply had to meet a minimum level of coverage for mental and behavioral healthcare if they wanted to sell their insurance plans on the exchanges. While insurance providers improved coverage for mental and behavioral health conditions, they did not raise coverage to the level of other physical health services. The new Mental Health Parity Act stated that insurance providers could no longer offer less favorable benefits for mental and behavioral healthcare than physical healthcare.

Comparing Mental Health and Physical Health Coverage

Before the passage of the Mental Health Parity Act, many insurance companies offered less coverage for mental health and behavioral health conditions than they did for physical health services such as surgical procedures. Recent updates to the act require insurance companies to publish cost comparison documents that outline their coverage levels for various healthcare services. Patients can determine that their provider does not offer less favorable benefits for mental and behavioral health conditions than they do for physical health conditions. 

Challenges Faced by Patients Seeking Parity in Mental Health Care

Even with strengthened laws, patients may still struggle to ensure that their provider is offering mental and behavioral health coverage that’s on par with their coverage for physical health services. If you aren’t sure if your provider is offering fair coverage, you can ask WhiteSands Treatment to help you determine your insurance coverage for addiction treatment amounts and review your policy with you. We can help determine if your health insurance provides fair coverage for all your healthcare needs. 

Steps to Ensure Your Rights Under Mental Health Parity Acts

Patients can take steps to ensure mental health parity with their insurance provider. Insurance companies have outlined steps to determine coverage benefits for all healthcare services. Insurance companies must comply with the act to sell their insurance products. If you need help navigating the process of checking coverage details with your insurance provider, our rehab insurance specialists can help, including if you’re looking to verify your PPO insurance for drug rehab.

Impact of Mental Health Parity on Treatment Accessibility

Mental health parity laws support access to cognitive and behavioral health treatment. There is a tremendous need in the U.S. for patients to access mental and behavioral healthcare. Without adequate insurance coverage, many people would find accessing this type of treatment difficult or impossible. Fortunately, these laws strengthen protections for those who have a mental or behavioral health condition when it comes to insurance coverage. Providers can no longer pay less for these types of services than they would for physical health services. Access to treatment transforms lives for the better. If you have a substance addiction, these acts ensure that your provider can’t pay less for coverage than they would a heart condition or some other physical health condition.

Future of Mental Health Parity in Health Insurance Policies

To support people’s health, insurance providers must cover all healthcare needs, including mental and behavioral health. These laws make it easier for people to access the help they need to manage their conditions successfully. They also support equality in healthcare so that those who have a mental or behavioral health condition cannot be treated less favorably than patients with physical conditions. 

If you have questions about insurance coverage or need help accessing treatment, including mental health services in Florida, you can contact WhiteSands Treatment. Our treatment center has a reputation for outstanding patient support. Let us help you get the treatment you need to manage your condition and achieve long-term recovery. We have a streamlined enrollment process and can meet you wherever you are in your recovery process. Call us today at 877-855-3470 or contact us online to get your treatment started.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.