US To Require Insurers To Cover Mental Health, Addiction Same As - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US To Require Insurers To Cover Mental Health, Addiction Same As Physical Illness

KHQ.COM - The Obama administration will require insurers to cover mental health and addiction just as they cover physical illnesses.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement at a mental health conference Friday morning at the Carter Center in Atlanta with former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

"This is the largest expansion of behavioral health coverage in a generation," Sebelius said. "The rule is a reality in part because of the leadership of President Obama, who was committed to getting this done this year."

The administration will post the parity rule for mental health later Friday morning, Sebelius said. 

"There's no question we have to expand access to treatment, services, and support," she said.

The rule will guarantee that health plans' co-payments, limits on visits to providers, and deductibles for mental health benefits match those for medical and surgical benefits. It will also ensure that there is parity in residential treatment and outpatient services, a win for the mental health care community because so much of treatment of those suffering from mental illness or addiction is in those settings.

It will apply to almost all types of insurance, and is likely to gain an administration battered by its rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act some popularity points.

Sebelius briefly addressed the issues with the introduction of healthcare.gov on Friday, saying there have been "inexcusable technology problems," but said, "the new law is more than a website."

She also said how happy she was to be at the Carter Center in Atlanta, joking, "Anywhere out of Washington these days is a good place to be."

For the 85 percent of Americans who have health coverage, Sebelius said, the Affordable Care Act will expand access to mental health — giving children more behavioral assessments and adults more screenings — and for those don't have insurance, "The new health insurance marketplaces are places to obtain coverage," she said.

Sebelius pointed out on Friday that more access to screenings for behavioral health for adults 18 to 30 — the age when serious pyschosis often appears — could be critical to saving lives. She also said that annually, twice as many Americans die from suicide as they do from homicide.

"Just think for a moment how different things would be if everyone felt like they could access treatment without the fear of being judged," Sebelius said.

The regulations put into effect the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. According to the Carter Center, the landmark 2008 legislation combined with the new Affordable Care Act regulations for mental health as an essential service benefit extend federal parity protections to 62 million Americans.

"By ensuring people have access to care early in the onset of a mental illness, more expensive hospital and emergency services can be avoided. More people will be able to stay at work or in school or be able to contribute at a greater level to their families and communities," Paige Rohe, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center, said in a news release.

Rosalynn Carter praised Sebelius and the Obama administration on Friday.

"We finally achieved parity, which was a major milestone," Carter said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 12:00 AM EDT2017-05-24 04:00:27 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>
  • Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 9:53 AM EDT2017-05-24 13:53:02 GMT

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>
  • $190 million settlement going to patients secretly recorded by gynecologist

    $190 million settlement going to patients secretly recorded by gynecologist

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 10:05 AM EDT2017-05-24 14:05:53 GMT

    BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 8,000 patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly recording pelvic exams will soon receive their share of a $190 million settlement. The Baltimore Sun reports the final allocation plan was approved Monday. Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker, who served as claims adjudicator in the class-action case, says the checks ranging from about $1,900 to nearly $28,000 sh...

    >>

    BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 8,000 patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly recording pelvic exams will soon receive their share of a $190 million settlement. The Baltimore Sun reports the final allocation plan was approved Monday. Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker, who served as claims adjudicator in the class-action case, says the checks ranging from about $1,900 to nearly $28,000 sh...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • TSA tests screening larger electronic devices separately

    TSA tests screening larger electronic devices separately

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:55 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:55:23 GMT

    Travelers at some U.S. airports are being asked to place electronic devices bigger than a cellphone in separate bins so that they can be examined more closely. The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that it has been testing the procedure at 10 airports for more than a year, and it may be expanded nationwide. The TSA says the approach is designed to "de-clutter" carry-on bags to make it easier for screeners to examine...

    >>

    Travelers at some U.S. airports are being asked to place electronic devices bigger than a cellphone in separate bins so that they can be examined more closely. The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that it has been testing the procedure at 10 airports for more than a year, and it may be expanded nationwide. The TSA says the approach is designed to "de-clutter" carry-on bags to make it easier for screeners to examine...

    >>
  • Graco recalls 25,000 car seats because of potentially unsafe harness webbing

    Graco recalls 25,000 car seats because of potentially unsafe harness webbing

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:19:33 GMT
    Graco is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall involves eight different model numbers of the "My Ride 65" Graco car seat. The seats were made on July 22, 2014 and the code 2014/06 is on a tag that's on the harness webbing. According to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), agency tests discovered the webbing strength problem. Graco ha...>>
    Graco is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall involves eight different model numbers of the "My Ride 65" Graco car seat. The seats were made on July 22, 2014 and the code 2014/06 is on a tag that's on the harness webbing. According to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), agency tests discovered the webbing strength problem. Graco ha...>>
  • PHOTOS: 'Doomsday' bunker community created in South Dakota

    PHOTOS: 'Doomsday' bunker community created in South Dakota

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 5:51 PM EDT2017-05-24 21:51:29 GMT

    EDGEMONT, South Dakota - Doomsday preppers are stepping it up a notch on their journey to surviving catastrophic destruction. They're heading to South Dakota where West River, a California-based company, is creating the largest shelter community ever made. Tucked away on hilly grass fields South of Edgemont, South Dakota, you'll find sphere-shaped bunkers covered in dirt and grass. Once you spot one, you'll quickly realize, they're everywhere.

    >>

    EDGEMONT, South Dakota - Doomsday preppers are stepping it up a notch on their journey to surviving catastrophic destruction. They're heading to South Dakota where West River, a California-based company, is creating the largest shelter community ever made. Tucked away on hilly grass fields South of Edgemont, South Dakota, you'll find sphere-shaped bunkers covered in dirt and grass. Once you spot one, you'll quickly realize, they're everywhere.

    >>