President Joe Biden made a significant announcement on Tuesday, outlining plans to push insurance companies to improve their coverage of mental health treatment. The proposed new rules, subject to a public comment period, would compel insurers to assess if their customers receive equal medical and mental health benefits. If any disparities are found, they would be required to rectify them.
In his statement at the White House, President Biden emphasized the importance of mental health care, stating that it is an integral part of overall healthcare. He stressed that it is crucial for people’s well-being and their ability to lead fulfilling lives, find joy, purpose, and take care of themselves and their loved ones. Dignity, he said, should be at the core of mental health care considerations.
Currently, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in 2008, mandates insurers to offer equal coverage for both mental and physical health care. However, this isn’t being fully implemented.
During a White House event highlighting the announcement, Biden expressed his frustration, noting that millions of Americans still struggle to access mental health care and treatment for substance abuse. He highlighted the concerning fact that less than half of all adults with a mental illness diagnosis received care in 2020.
The new rules, if finalized, aim to address these disparities and make mental health care more accessible to all Americans. Biden made a strong case for mental health parity, emphasizing that there should be no difference in the importance of treating a physical injury versus addressing a mental health issue – both are vital aspects of overall health.
The president’s announcement marks a significant step forward in improving mental health care in the country. By pushing for equal coverage of mental health treatment, the administration hopes to ensure that individuals can access the care they need, ultimately promoting a healthier and more productive society.