Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Another Blow to Insurance Parity - Will You Send a Message?

August 03, 2018 3:06 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

 

On August 1, the Federal Administration dealt another blow to mental health parity by allowing for an expansion of certain health insurance plans that are not required to cover people with pre-existing conditions or provide coverage for mental health services.

These "short-term limited-duration" plans will now be allowed to cover people for up to 364 days, up from 3 months, and be renewed for up to three years.

However, even when short-term limited duration plans say they cover mental health care, they often have fine print that allows them to charge people with mental illness more or says they do not:

  *   Cover pre-existing conditions like mental illness;

  *   Cover a self-inflicted injury; or

  *   Provide essential health benefits, including mental health and substance use care.

These junk plans will leave many people without the coverage they need in a mental health crisis or if they develop a mental health condition. And, this rule will further destabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and threaten quality and affordable mental health coverage for Americans.  For more information about short term policies, click here https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/understanding-short-term-limited-duration-health-insurance/.

PLEASE ACT – 1.  Vote in next Tuesday’s primary election for candidates who support issues relating to mental health and substance use treatment.  Have questions?  Check out the KMHC website here http://kansasmentalhealthcoalition.onefireplace.com .

2.  Today, tell the candidates for state insurance commissioner to protect people with mental health conditions Email the candidates at the following email addresses with the message below or use your own words:

Vicki Schmidt - vicki.schmidt@mac.com - website: www.vickischmidt.org

Clark Shultz - shultz@usa.com  -  website: www.clarkshultzforinsurancecommissioner.com             

Nathaniel McLaughlin - nathanielmclaughlin@yahoo.com  -           www.facebook.com/ElectMcLaughlin/ 

Dear Candidate _____________________(insert the name), 

I am writing today because, as a person whose life is affected by mental illness, I am deeply concerned about recent federal action allowing short-term limited-duration plans to be sold in our state. Even when short-term limited duration plans say they cover mental health care, they often have fine print that allows them to charge people with mental illness more or says they do not:

*        Cover pre-existing conditions like mental illness;

*        Cover a self-inflicted injury; or

*        Provide essential health benefits, including mental health and substance use care.

These plans will leave many people without the coverage they need in a mental health crisis or if they develop a mental health condition. This rule will also further destabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and threaten quality and affordable mental health coverage for people in our state.

As a candidate for our state's insurance commissioner, I urge you to commit to limit the sale of these short-term plans, require informative disclosures to the public, support affordable policies that include essential health benefits and to protect people with mental health conditions.

Sincerely,

[insert your name and address]



(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4103, Topeka, KS  66604-0103         785-969-1617

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management