Receiving the proper care for behavioral health problems is an essential part of recovery. Without opportunities for treatment and rehabilitation, children, whose parents suffer addiction, continue to be at risk. Substance abuse has become a risk factor in the instance of child neglect and maltreatment based on a report by the Division of Children, Youth, and Families. Moreover, with increased challenges to behavioral health insurance policies, the chances for a better state of mind and overall health wellness of a patient becomes smaller.

With a strong conviction that addiction can be healed and recovery is achievable, the American Addiction Centers offer inpatient treatment program for 90 days guaranteeing every patient a clean and sober lifestyle after. But the problem of fusing insurance and treatment has become more complicated considering that patients struggle to access the intervention.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 initially prevent insurers to provide benefits for mental health or substance abuse patients that are less favorable. The MHPAEA applies to group health insurance and group health plans and was later amended through the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 to cover for individual health insurance.

Behavioral Health Insurance Challenges

The apparent suicide of designer Kate Spade is said to reflect America’s dire need to modify its behavioral health care system simply because there are not enough providers. According to Joan Cook, associate professor at Yale School of Medicine, behavioral health care providers are not actually getting into the root of the patient’s problem. Often, providers give inadequate or inappropriate treatments.

In addition, experts expect a rise in health insurance costs by 2019. Some insurers have requested for 30 percent increase next year, despite the blatant surge of 34 percent in 2018. Some reports reveal that behavioral health insurance policies are keeping treatments out of hand. In one case a patient needs to pay around $300 for medications not covered by insurance plans. Patients are calling for a realignment of health insurance standards towards addiction and opioids treatment through reducing the current cost. Replacement medications like methadone and buprenorphine are necessary in administering the detox process. Unfortunately, private insurance companies and government agencies across 11 states in the country have maintained their limitations on covered expenses and treatment durations, too.

Opioids are now considered the defining epidemic of the century and this crisis has caused 60 percent of children in Indiana to be housed in foster care due to substance abuse in their family. This gives way to an intensified desire to have a more relevant and efficient behavioral health care system. A comprehensive network adequacy should allow insurers to provide a reasonable access to treatment options. Policymakers should also balance the interest of patient and insurers through an adequate network of specialists broadening their choices of service, doctors, and treatments.

Legislators should consider several factors when trying to come up with highly-beneficial behavioral health care policy. They should at first focus on treatment instead of punishment, and make mental and behavioral health interventions accessible and affordable. On the other hand, addiction centers should implement a rehabilitation process that promote individualized treatment, aftercare services and research-based interventions.

The entire well-being of an individual is greatly affected by his behavioral health. Giving adequate and proper care lead to positive health outcomes. Policymakers and providers should see to it that patients have access to a wide range of options without having to pay the extra price. Increased quality care and enhanced insurance policies will ultimately save lives.