Posted by Minnie Mahendru on September 28, 2013

Isn’t this unfair that the insurance companies turn their noses up at the expenses incurred by people who are hospitalized due to psychiatric problems? People who suffer from psychiatric problems and show suicidal tendencies may need to be admitted to hospitals but the health insurance carriers refuse to pay for the continued hospital stay.

A woe-struck Melissa

A person plagued by psychiatric problems stated her woes. The very young 13 years old, Melissa Morelli cut herself and was rushed to the ER by her mother. She had to be kept in psychiatric facility for almost a week and her helpless mother Cathy Morelli had a tough deal with her health insurance carrier. It was impossible to take her daughter back home because of her suicidal disposition, so much for the insurance dilemma!

The same thing happened again and again and in 5 months Melissa was taken to the hospital about 12 times but Anthem Blue Cross ,the insurance company refused to clear the dues for hospital care, according to them Melissa “had not been getting better in a significant way and they wrote to the 14 year old in July 2012 “It does not seem likely that doing the same thing will help you get better.”

Ms.Morelli had no option but approached the Connecticut state officials and also took help from an outside reviewer. Her tirade won her the insurance dues and Anthem paid up almost hundreds thousands of dollars thanks to her winsome appeals.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, a federal law states that insurers need to provide coverage for mental illnesses same way as multiple sclerosis or cancer. But sadly 5 years after it was approved by President Obama’s signature it still needs to reach its goal of proper coverage for the mentally troubled patients.

Karen Ignagni, the C.E.O. of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association representing the nation’s health insurers “It’s very different from the approach to a bypass procedure or a hip replacement,”

At the moment the patients and families of people plagued by the mental health problems have no option but to stare for some respite with the help of Affordable Care Act.

Physical problems have a specified standard care regime but there is hardly any medical evidence of the ideal treatment for mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia.

The insurers start to throw a fit when the psychiatric patient has to constantly go for therapy sessions and is suggested expensive residential care. The treatment time is indecisive and the companies feel the treatment costs are like being poured into a well.

Mental health care may soon be introduced as an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act. But the sufferers feel that mental health may be neglected.

Senator Kennedy’s son, Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman from Rhode Island who suffers from bipolar disorder and depression feels that the President Obama “needs the private insurers to implement this law or it’s not going to work.”

The administration plans to make definite rules by the end of 2013 as the health Insurers have a view of mental health stating it as “secondary to all other health.”

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