Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: Behavioral Health



Historically, health insurance had limited coverage of behavioral health services related to behavioral health, overall well-being, and substance abuse disorder treatment. Under the ACA, all new small-group and individual-market plans must cover behavioral health and substance use disorder services as one of the ten essential health benefits, and cover them at parity with medical and surgical benefits.


Keep Calm and Transition On

This November 2015 toolkit from the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office will help people with mental health conditions transition from one care provider to another. Strategies are offered for overcoming barriers to care and for strengthening relationships between the person’s care team members.

The Role of Public Health in Chicago’s Mental Health System

This August 2015 report from Health & Disability Advocates details the Chicago Department of Public Health’s work in supporting behavioral health. The report gives recommendations for improving mental health delivery.

Dual Eligibles with Developmental Disabilities

This August 2014 fact sheet from Family Voices of Illinois gives detailed answers on the Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative for dual eligibles. The fact sheet describes how a person with disabilities would qualify for SSDI and explains what is different when the dual eligible has a developmental disability.

HHS’ ACA Mental Health Services Awards

The July 2014 HHS announcement of $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 221 health centers nationwide to establish or expand behavioral health services. Health centers will use these new funds for efforts such as hiring new mental health professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employing integrated models of primary care. Nine Illinois awardees received a total of $2.25 million. (more…)

ACA to Expand Mental Health Benefits for 62 Million Americans

In one of the largest expansions of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in a generation, the Affordable Care Act will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans. This February 2013 ASPE research brief from HHS describes the three distinct ways that benefits and parity protections are being expanded. It includes a chart of the numbers of people expected to gain benefits or see their benefits extended.

Behavioral Health: Can Primary Care Help Meet the Growing Need?

While addressing unmet mental health and substance use needs, the ACA’s provisions raise new challenges. This May 2012 briefing by the Alliance for Health Reform examines the issues. (more…)

How Will the ACA Impact the Chronically Homeless?

The chronically homeless suffer from serious mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and physically disabling conditions. They are typically uninsured. This April 2012 presentation from IHM explored how the Affordable Care Act benefit them and other vulnerable low-income populations, and what are the limits of the ACA? (more…)