The federal government is pushing for Medicaid expansion across all states to address behavioral health issues and fight mental illness. Nearly 2 million low-income, uninsured people with a substance use disorder or a mental illness live in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, even when the residents income qualify for coverage.
If all states allowed Medicaid expansion, the coverage would result in an estimated 371,000 fewer cases of people with depression, and 540,000 more people would be in good health annually, according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) department.
Giving people with mental health disorders and substance abuse an easy door into treatment, they will be given a chance to improving their productivity and their overall life quality.
Richard Frank, from the HHS, explains that if states are serious about dealing the opioids crisis and mental illness issues, Medicaid will be providing a unique opportunity to do so.
To date, Thirty-one states have expanded Medicaid. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released a report focused on states that had not expanded and their populations of uninsured people reporting mental illnesses or addictions. When people are covered by insurance, they will be more likely to see a doctor and more easily afford treatment.
Supporters also have included a provision that would end the program after three years unless lawmakers choose to renew it and require an independent review of its fiscal impact so that lawmakers and the governor could decide whether to continue it.
A 2015 report from “Mental Health America” reveals that hat states differ significantly in whether they have any kind of mental health provider who can work with patients; the availability of mental health providers fluctuates across America. Some states only cater 250 patients per provider, while others cater 1,100 per provider.
Additionally, statistics from the HHS indicated that 55 percent of counties in the country, a majority of which are rural, do not have practicing psychologists, psychiatrists, or social workers.
Also, getting adequate treatment could take years. The process would involve recognizing the mental health condition to nailing down what kind of therapy or medication works best for the individual.
The Affordable Care Act doesn’t provide the subsidies for people who make less than that because the law originally required all states to expand Medicaid, which would have covered that population and made the subsidies unnecessary. But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can’t punish states that don’t expand Medicaid.
Source: Northwest GA News