Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mental Health Parity: Why it’s not a hot political topic

Before I was diagnosed with depression and realized that I suffered from a mental illness, in my mind the most vital issue in terms of health insurance was whether I had it or not. I think you’d find that’s the case for nearly everyone in America. If you have good health insurance, for the most part it’s not something you think about, and you’re pretty darn thankful that’s the case.

However, once I started treatment for depression I became aware of one of the ugly aspects of the health insurance coverage I had thought was so complete. Not only were there limits on my mental health care in terms of number of visits allowed, both annually and for my lifetime, but my co-pay was higher for mental health visits than for other types of care. And I’m not just referring to talk therapy, which is always a 50 minute long appointment. Even a 5 minute medication check with my psychiatrist cost me more than a 45 minute long appointment with my gynecologist.

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