Mental health and substance use disorder benefits expanded

February 22, 2013
Mental health and substance use disorder benefits expanded
In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(HealthDay)—In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The new rule outlines standards for a core package of benefits (essential health benefits). In addition, the rule expands mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.

According to the report, the rule expands coverage to in three ways: by including mental health and substance use disorders as essential health benefits; by applying federal parity protections to these benefits in the individual and small groups markets; and by providing quality health care, including coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services to more Americans. The rule also finalized a benchmark-based approach, which allows states to choose a benchmark plan from options offered in the market. In addition, beginning in 2014, plans that cover essential health benefits must cover a specific percentage of the costs, known as actuarial value. This will allow consumers to compare insurance plans. The will also limit the annual amount of cost sharing across health plans.

"The Act helps people get the health insurance they need," , U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, said in a statement. "People all across the country will soon find it easier to compare and enroll in health plans with better coverage, greater quality, and new benefits."

Explore further: Half of Americans with individual health plans could gain better coverage under the ACA: report

More information: More Information

Related Stories

Half of Americans with individual health plans could gain better coverage under the ACA: report

May 23, 2012
More than half of Americans with individual market health insurance coverage in 2010 were enrolled in so-called "tin" plans, which provide less coverage than the lowest "bronze"-level plans in the Affordable Care Act, and ...

Mental-health parity can cut costs

December 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Implementation of the Mental Health Parity Act could save tens, possibly hundreds of billions of dollars and prevent needless suffering. The federal government has promised further guidance about how the ...

Study: Drug coverage to vary under health law

December 4, 2012
(AP)—A new study says basic prescription drug coverage could vary dramatically from state to state under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Most med schools offer students poor mental health coverage, imperiling students, patients

September 6, 2011
Most U.S. medical schools offer their students poor health insurance coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders, a practice that imperils the well-being of our nation's future doctors and their ...

HHS details overhaul rules and required benefits

November 20, 2012
The Obama administration is strengthening the prescription drug coverage that will be available to the millions of people who will start getting insurance through the nation's health care overhaul.

Insurers must cover birth control with no copays

August 1, 2011
(AP) -- The Obama administration says health insurance plans must cover birth control for women with no copays.

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.