Repealing the Affordable Care Act could mean that 60 million Americans would lose coverage and face discrimination for mental health illness, including 203,000 people in South Dakota.
One in five adults experience mental illness every year. Congresswoman Noem’s repeal plan would throw Americans back into the old broken system, where insurance companies were free to refuse coverage for mental health services and discriminate against patients suffering from mental illness.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover mental health and substance abuse disorder services as an essential medical service, meaning 60 million Americans would be denied the largest expansion of mental health coverage in a generation. The law also prohibits insurers from denying coverage to patients or charging them more because of a preexisting mental health condition.
This is the Affordable Care Act at work. Don’t let Congresswoman Kristi Noem take us back to the old system.
The Affordable Care Act Prevents Insurance Companies from Denying Coverage to those with Mental Health Issues. “Under the law, insurers must now pay for many things that used to be optional, like prescription drugs, having a baby, and mental health care, among other services. […] Obama’s signature health care legislation addresses this problem in explicit terms. Under the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, mental health and substance abuse services are classified among the 10 ‘Essential Health Benefits.’ Health insurance marketplaces cannot apply yearly or lifetime dollar limits on coverage of these benefits. The marketplaces also cannot deny anyone coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions. […] Under the ACA, health plans are required to cover preventative services, including behavioral assessments for children, at no additional cost. Coverage will also include behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy, and substance abuse treatment – both for inpatient and outpatient care.” [San Francisco Chronicle,11/22/13]