Mental health insurance coverage still a concern

Jessie Bekker

A report released last week by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that health insurance companies are offering less coverage for mental health support than physical conditions.

Though federal law requires insurers to offer these services, companies find loopholes by assessing the necessity of mental health care for the patient and turning down patients, National Public Radio reported.

By law, mental health treatment falls under the same category for coverage as diseases like cancer and diabetes, according to NPR.

But insurers say comparing physical conditions to mental conditions is difficult, as mental care results are harder to quantify, NPR reported.

Despite consumer grievances over limited coverage, insurance companies make it hard for their customers to file an official complaint, according to NPR.

Consumers must find documentation from their insurance company that outlines how they broke the rules written out in their coverage plans, NPR reported.

States like New York and California are trying to implement the mental health law through settlements and lawsuits with insurance companies, which NPR reports could be the process of enforcing the federal legislation.