Insurance is a crucial tool that can grant access to needed treatment to get well. Health insurance helps pay for mental health care needs including checkups, visits to specialists, emergency care and hospital stays. In most cases insurance will keep a person from paying the full cost of medical services.
How to Navigate Insurance
Getting insured or reviewing your current insurance plan may seem complicated, but knowing the basics can help you navigate the system successfully.
Click here for NAMI’s page on understanding health insurance.
Here is the Texas Department of Insurance page on health insurance.
TexasHealthOptions.com is a useful Texas resource to help Texans learn how to find and use health insurance.
HealthCare.gov is where you can access the Health Insurance Marketplace and apply for health insurance online. Even though open enrollment has ended for 2018 you can still access special enrollment if you are eligible. They have a toll free number you can call if you need assistance with the application process at any step of the way.
Click here for information on Texas Medicaid and CHIP.
If you have a complaint please look into The Texas Department of Insurance Complaint Process. The Texas Department of insurance helps peers, resolve complaints against insurance companies, health maintenance organizations(HMOs), insurance agents and adjusters.
Mental Health Parity
What is mental health parity? Mental health parity describes the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders in insurance plans. When a plan has parity, it means that if you are provided unlimited doctor visits for a chronic condition like diabetes then they must offer unlimited visits for a mental health condition such as depression or schizophrenia. However, parity doesn’t mean that you will get good mental health coverage. Comprehensive parity requires equal coverage, not necessarily “good” coverage. If the health insurance plan is very limited, then mental health coverage will be similarly limited even in a state with a strong parity law or in a plan that is subject to federal parity.
Click here for NAMI’s page on mental health parity.
Click here for NAMI’s public policy page on mental health parity.
Click here for the Texas HHSC’s page on mental health parity.
Click here for the Hogg Foundation’s guide to mental health parity.
The Kennedy Forum- Parity Resources
Here is The Kennedy Forum’s guide to making mental health essential health through The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA or Parity Act). This requires health insurance carriers to achieve coverage parity between Mental Health/Substance Use Disorders(MH/SUD) and medical/surgical benefits, especially in regard to financial requirements and treatment limitations.
Click here for the Parity Partner Toolkit. We must stop discriminatory practices against those seeking mental health and addiction treatment services. Please use the resources on this page to help spread the word about these important parity tools.