“Rule demands mental-health coverage parity”

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This November 10, 2013 article on the Philly.com website talks about new regulations on mental health parity to further level out the playing field giving mental health care a greater opportunity to be treated the same as physical health care by insurance coverage

 

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  1. I have Medicare and was told about the law being passed. Armed with that info and the impression that medicare’s payment structure would become 80%/20% for psychiatric services, the same as physical treatment, instead of the normal 50%/50% payment structure for psychiatric treatment. I was elated because I had just found out about a psychiatrist, for which I was in desperate need. This doctor was an answer to my prayers. i had been delivered from a constant exodus of zero- to-poor treatment I had been receiving. BUT I was charged the same 50%. Waiting for medicare’s billing delay to catch up, I was surprised to find out that my bill had gotten to the $700+ mark. This particularly-key, and impossible-to-replace component of my treatment needs also gave me the sense of calm and renewed faith. This doctor provided me with extensive, psycho-physical care like I had never experienced before since becoming chronically ill 15 years ago. I finally felt emotionally confident that it was possible for me to be restored to former excellent, “good health”. The practice’s office manager consulted the doctor in charge of the practice about my bill and referred me to a local mental health clinic because my bill was too high. Oddly, no one consulted with the patient (me) and/or had taken into consideration the other most significant benefits I was receiving at the time and formerly (and still is) impossible to find again. I was already receiving my therapy at the clinic but didn’t feel my needs would be met by the 1.5 hour yearly pscyh evaluation and monthly 12 minute med checks. Today, it’s my opinion that my mental, physical, emotional health was damaged and continues to decline since then. That was approximately 3 years ago. Before my last appointment I reported my loss of appetite (March 2010). We were in the middle of obtaining help for this newest malady. My appetite has steadily gotten worse over these last 3 years. None of the doctors I’ve seen since and have told of this ‘appetite’ problem have shown much concern. (I’m not skinny enough.) How does one build up a damaged immune system and hope to begin an already long, arduous and lonely journey to get well if one is unable to provide the body with fuel/energy? I hope this ‘new rule’ will help prevent any kind of similar circumstances happening to others in the future. I often wonder if those events are responsible for a turning point in my chances to resume, not only an acceptable state of health, but a decent quality of life and sense of well being I no longer enjoy. I believe now my state of health is on a downturn and if I ever find the care I need, it won’t be too late.

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