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Texas approves bill on equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health care
Posted in Mental Health

With an eye on improving the access to mental health treatment, the Texas House approved a bill on April 4, 2017, that would accord equal insurance coverage for both mental and physical health care. Mental health problems is a big concern in the United States, though a bigger issue than this is providing proper access to the treatment.

The bill would allow the Texas Department of Insurance to keep an eye on health insurance plans providing mental health and substance abuse benefits. As part of the bill, the Department of Insurance would have to assign an ombudsman to help uninsured and insured consumers get mental health services. Now, the bill is waiting for a final passage in the House.

Elucidating on the significance of the Bill passed, its author State Representative Four Price said, “Mental Health Services are not often being adequately covered under health insurance plans.” He added that many Americans either shell out their own money for treatment of mental illnesses or avoid looking for support completely.

Treatment for psychiatric disorders to be within reach

Elaborating on how people have to pay exorbitant bills for the treatment of mental problems, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Austin Executive Director Karen Ranus said, “We know that so often people are concerned about the cost that they incur when they’re looking at that kind of care. And even among those as well, there’s a pretty wide range of behaviors, signs, symptoms you might see with them. They have a higher prevalence rate than cancer, diabetes, asthma, which are very commonly recognized public health issues that we have no qualms about spending money on and making priorities. We have all sorts of campaigns around them and encourage people to get help early right? Because the earlier you get treatment, the better your outcomes are.”

The bill was a result of continuous examination and assessment by members of the mental health committee formed to suggest improvements in the working of the outdated mental health care system. Considering the current medicinal, social and criminal justice costs resulting from the poor mental health of Americans, the passing of the Bill is a major step in providing access to adequate mental health care.

As per the NAMI, roughly 18.5 percent American population is affected by some kind of mental illness in any given year. Of these, an estimated 4 percent suffer from a psychological disorder grievous enough to hamper daily activities and affect the quality of life. Thus, it is necessary to educate people about the need to equate physical health conditions with mental health conditions. This awareness would help in providing adequate treatment for both the problems.

Tackling psychiatric illnesses

Mentally disoriented people often seek refuge in drugs, believing that the addictive nature of the drug will help tackle all the stress and chaos in their mind. At times, it is difficult to diagnose mental disorders until the symptoms aggravate. Such patients are unable to decide if their mental illness preceded drug use or if the use of the drugs triggered symptoms of mental problems.

In such cases, physicians advise their patients to seek treatment for both their emotional health inadequacies and drug abuse. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), “There is a definite connection between mental illness and the use of addictive substances. Individuals with an existing mental illness consume roughly 38 percent of all alcohol, 44 percent of all cocaine, and 40 percent of all cigarettes. Furthermore, the people who have ever experienced mental illness consume about 69 percent of all the alcohol, 84 percent of all the cocaine, and 68 percent of all cigarettes.”

It is an established fact that deterioration of psychological disorders can trigger the use of various addictive substances, thus, aggravating the chance of suffering from co-occurring disorders. In such a situation, it is important to get timely treatment for mental health problems. Sovereign Health of Texas evaluates its patients for possible comorbidity and recommends the best dual diagnosis treatment rehab. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-399-5740 or chat online for more information about our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Texas.

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