Friday, November 8, 2013
New mental health, substance abuse insurance rule to be finalized, official says
Eilperin, Juliet. New mental health, substance abuse insurance rule to be finalized, official says. (8 November 2013) The Washington Post.
1. Category of problem: Health
2. Level of problem: National
3. The article concerns: The new rule that will be finalized today to ensure that mental health and substance abuse patients are treated the same way as any other physical illness by their insurers. Care and treatment will be covered by insurers just as any other illness would be.
4. Why is this important to families/individuals OR how does it affect individuals/families?
a. This will help individuals and families everywhere. Individuals could struggle or even go bankrupt from trying to pay off medical bills; this could also hurt families that are helping support their loved one in this process. Many parents are unaware of their child’s substance abuse problems; their child could be hundreds of miles away at college, they could hang out with a good crowd of people, and even show no signs of substance abuse, it can be hard to tell. Both substance abuse and mental illness are serious problems that should be covered by insurers.
5. What are your views on the issue/policy?
a. I think that this rule should be finalized and that all patients that fall under these guidelines should be covered the same as any other patient would. I personally have had many friends that have abused substances and have had to go to the hospital or rehab to take care of themselves. Next thing they knew, bills were coming in and they were not small bills. I’m sure some people see this in a different light though. Others may see their illness as self inflicted and that they should not receive the same treatment coverage that others do. However, I feel that the addiction obviously got out of control; however the pain is now out of the patients’ control. At certain stages of recovery, the pain is said to be intolerable and consistent; patients need help and should receive the same coverage that any other person in pain would receive. They same goes for the mentally ill; they need treatment and should not be treated any differently than any other person that is in pain or needs help. I think that the passing of this policy is a good idea and that coverage should be the same for all patients in need of treatment.