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Access to Mental-Health Care Has Increased Under the ACA

Yes, Access to Mental-Health Care Has Increased Under the Affordable Care Act, and to be certain that those in need benefit from that access, families, friends, loved ones and advocates MUST help to ensure that providers deliver on the promises made and also on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the Obamacare law).

Those in need and their advocates must access that care. Providers are not going to be seeking out patients.  It is important that advocates, families, loved ones and service agencies do all within their power to make people aware of available services. Those in need of mental health services face many challenges; when these challenges are met with effective services many other things fall into place.  

a. It is important that people get geared up for next enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15

b. This means learning as much as one can about what each insurer offers;

c. Finding out where providers are located and learning about transportation and other access issues.

d. Talk to those who are knowledgeable about the various programs and services; seek out and read information materials; write down questions to which answers are needed so that when enrollment time arrives those who wish to enroll will be ready to evaluate available options.  No question is off limit; become fully informed before making a decision

The New Haven Independent reports  that "During the first enrollment period, October 2013 through August 2014, the number of Medicaid enrollees through the ACA grew from 93,000 to 163,000 statewide, reported Professor of Psychiatry and CMHC CEO Michael Sernyak.

“That’s 20,000 more than projected,” he added.

The ACA now requires that all health plans, in addition to Medicaid, cover preventive services like depression screening and behavioral assessments at no cost and insurers can no longer deny coverage calling mental health a pre-existing condition or charge higher premiums to individuals with mental illness.

DeLauro hailed the achievement as a big step to helping make mental health “no longer a shameful secret” or stigma.

“Mental health problems are as real as diabetes, and the leading cause of disability,” she said."

As stated in the NHI article linked here - advocates now need to monitor insurance companies to make sure they fulfill promises of increased coverage.  We cannot complain if we do not test and hold everyone involved accountable.  Access to good mental health care and services are essential to overall community well-being.  Read the complete article in the New Haven Independent.

Learn more about OneWorld's work in the Greater New Haven Community at our web:

See our YouTube channel at:

Mental Health Services in New Haven for children and families: Profiling Clifford Beers Clinic -

Connecticut Mental Health Association serves a wide area of CT with an array of services:

Mental Health Advocacy groups include: Office of CT Healthcare Advocate: /

 CT's Legal Rights Project - Advocates for People with Mental Health Disabilities:

To reach CT Mental Health & Addiction Services  Toll Free Call:  800 446 7348

For the Hearing Impaired Call 860 - 418- 6707.  OneWorld Progressive Institute produces community education television programs and forums focusing on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  Please visit our web site to learn more.

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