Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity
As many Americans already know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) resulted in a number of changes in our health care system over the last couple of years. The most recent and, perhaps the most dramatic change is the opening of the health care exchanges. Each state was given an option to use the federal government’s exchange or to create one of its own. New York State opted to create its own. It also awarded grants to community agencies who applied to be “navigators” who are charged with assisting people with the enrollment process on the NY State of Health website (http://www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/).
The way we may purchase health care, however, is not the only notable change we will see in our health care system. The ACA also requires insurance companies to develop qualified plans. Qualified plans must include a host of free preventive services, cover young adults through the age 26, and, perhaps most importantly to our readers, the requirement that mental health services must be covered in the same way physical health services are covered (aka – mental health parity). Mental health parity means one will pay the same copay and have the same number of authorized visits when seeking mental health counseling as one pays to go to the doctor to get treatment for a physical ailment.
To learn more about the ACA and/or how to get help navigating the NY State of Health website, the Mental Health Association is hosting several informational sessions in the Wyoming and Livingston County area. These sessions are funded through a grant from New York State Health Foundation and administered by Empire Justice. Our partners include HR Block and the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce.
To schedule an appointment with a navigator to receive help with your health care exchange application contact the following:
In Monroe and Livingston Counties:
Call Coordinated Care Services, Inc. at
For Small Business help call:
Livingston County Chamber of Commerce at
In Wyoming County:
Call Wyoming County Dept. of Health at