Throughout the history of time, mental health has been considered a private matter, one to be ignored or pushed aside. As more and more people talk about their individual struggles with mental illness, the treatment and help available for these issues are becoming more of a priority for the medical community. With the mental health parity laws, insurances are required to cover these issues the same as any other medical condition, giving treatment access to more people than ever before.
These treatments covered by insurance policies provide much-needed support for those suffering from mental illnesses, such as substance use disorder. Treatments can include therapy, medications, and in-patient facilities aimed at creating healthier individuals overall.
Mental Health History
Mental health issues have been viewed negatively since the beginning of recorded history. Mental illness was considered a sign of possession or religious punishment by most cultures. Through the 18th century, mental illness was stigmatized. The treatment of individuals that suffered from mental illness typically involved dehumanizing confinement and unfair treatment of the patient.
In the 50s, a big push for deinstitutionalization created more outpatient treatment programs and the use of medication. While the idea behind deinstitutionalization was positive, the actual outcome has been received both negatively and positively. After many state-run hospitals were shut down in favor of community-based treatments, there was a deficit of basic care for many of those suffering from mental illness. For more information about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill visit https://www.uniteforsight.org/mental-health/module2.
Hippocrates was the first known person to treat mental illness with anything besides religion or superstition. He treated the patient by changing their environment and issuing substances as medications. Before that, treatment involved barbaric practices such as trephination, which is the removal of a small piece of the skull, and bloodletting and purging. Even after Hippocrates, the most common treatment of mental illness involved isolation and/or the use of dangerous practices.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, mental illness was treated with a variety of techniques. It was still commonplace to use isolation, such as asylums to treat the mentally ill. They also used practices such as lobotomies and electroshock. As the understanding increased, antipsychotic drugs and therapy were introduced into mainstream practices.
If you suffer from mental illness or substance abuse, finding help is as easy as talking to your insurance provider. Since 2014, most individual and small group insurance plans cover mental illness and substance abuse. As part of the Affordable Health Care Act, insurances have to treat mental illness the same as any other medical issue.
Coverage of substance abuse rehab facilities and treatments fall under the umbrella of mental illness and are therefore protected in the same way. Most insurance policies should cover both short-term and long-term rehab facilities, group and individual therapy, and medical care. Most companies provide a list of facilities, like Cigna alcohol rehab, along with other substance abuse programs on their websites. You can easily find a rehab facility or treatment program by calling your insurance provider or checking their website.
Finding the correct substance abuse program or mental illness treatment should not be taken lightly. It is important to find the right fit for your needs and wants. Mental illness is not the same for everyone, so treatment needs to be catered to the individual. While you want to make sure it is covered by your insurance, you do not want your provider to be the first name you see on a list. Treatment should be a comfortable, safe experience that requires a good relationship with your provider.
It is important to make sure it is the right program for you so before committing to a program, ask the following questions to determine if it is the right fit:
- What is your experience with treating someone with my issue?
- What is the program for someone with my issue?
- Is there a variety of treatments for someone with my issue?
- How long do you expect treatment or program to last?
Using your primary care physician can be a great resource for finding the right facility and provider for your needs. Especially if medication of any kind will be needed, your physician understands your health best and can give insight into what medications will be beneficial. They can help refer you to providers they trust.
The Affordable Health Care Act created laws protecting patients who need mental health treatments from being denied by their insurance providers. Mental health and substance use disorder coverage parity laws require most health plans to use the same rules applied to general medical benefits, to mental health benefits. Due to these laws, if you have medical coverage, you should have similar coverage for any mental health issues, including substance abuse.
Parity means that all financial requirements must be comparable between general health coverage and mental health services. This includes copays, deductibles, and treatment visit limits that are paid for by your insurance. To find out more about your rights and what is protected, visit this website.
Depending on your individual insurance plan, all or most treatments for mental health and substance abuse should be covered with the same stipulations as your primary care coverage. Therefore, mental health treatment should be considered what it is, a medical condition requiring treatment. The stigma behind getting help for mental illness is slowly evaporating from our society.
With more understanding of mental health and more access to treatments, we see less of an impact that those suffering from these conditions must deal with. Help is available in so many ways, getting treatment should never be put off. There are programs in place to help with a variety of issues, as well as grants and loans available to help cover costs. There are hundreds of government agencies and non-profit organizations put in place to create easier ways to take care of those suffering from any type of mental illness. Help is easily accessible; you just must have the courage to ask.
Also Read: Will A Queen Mattress Fit In Your Pickup Truck.