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Americans Surprising Agreement on Inclusion of Mental Health Benefit in Insurance

In the hot debate about healthcare in the U.S. there appears to be one common thread. Research shows that 77% of Americans from both sides of the political divide feel that insurance coverage should cater to psychological wellness.

The research results by the American Psychiatric Organization shows that 76% of Democrats and 81% of Republicans are of the opinion that health insurance should provide mental wellness protection.

The research further clarifies that over 50% of Americans would want psychological health coverage to be part and parcel of any health insurance law. This is irrespective of whether the insurance coverage is purchased on an individual level, or it is part of a federal statutory program like Medicaid and Medicare, or any other bought through a Health Care Exchange.

55% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans perceive that all forms of government provided insurance health coverage must take into account the issue of mental wellness. The findings noted that Boomers are more likely to support this line of thought than Millennials.

Further data indicates that 50% of the respondents were of the opinion that mental health insurance coverage is of extreme importance.

But with that stated, more than 25% of respondents indicated  they did not know the status of their own psychological health insurance coverage!

Once again, this number cut across all demographic groups of age, race, ethnicity, party affiliation and income brackets. However, over 50% of adult respondents indicated that they would know how to access mental health if they required it. It was noted that  50% of women surveyed versus 37% of men had high confidence that they knew how to access mental health care should the need arise.

The research caught the attention of APA Head Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., PhD. She contends that the poll offered crucial insight into the American understanding of the relevance of mental wellness. In her opinion, the poll results showed a strong bi-partisan support for psychological health insurance coverage. However, she voiced her concern about the unusually large percentage of people who indicated their lack of knowledge on the status of their mental wellness protection, and those who showed a lack of knowledge on the best ways to access mental health care benefits.

4 in every five American adults acknowledge the link between mental wellness and  total health. (The majority are clearly  concerned about their families’ general health.) However most individuals indicate a lack of trust in Washington policy makers to understand the importance of psychological health as a top priority. Indeed, 69% of the respondents were of the opinion that the policy makers did not prioritize mental wellness protection.

The APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin said, ‘We have actually made progress in the broadening of Psychological health protection.’ He added that the proposed American Health Care Act would eliminate insurance coverage from a large number in the general population, in addition to curtailing the Medicaid expansion that was established by the Affordable Care Act.

The research was conducted online by ORC International CARAVAN Omnibus Survey on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association. It was conducted countrywide with a survey pool drawn from 1,019 adults, between April 20th and April 23rd 2017. It has a +/-3.1% margin of error.

While there are differences of opinion on the best way to handle health care in the U.S., it is clear that mental wellness protection is important.

If you have questions about the current law (The Affordable Care Act) and the proposed changes offered by the American Health Care Act, please reach out to your health insurance specialist.

And for other questions about insurance topics that can impact your pocketbook, please explore our past articles. Please know that we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your insurance protection. And if you have any insurance related questions, please be sure to reach us.