Biden pushes for insurers to cover mental health as extensively as medical health

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden said Tuesday more Americans need access to quality mental health treatment, and he has a plan to make mental healthcare more affordable.

“I don’t know what the difference between breaking your arm and having a mental breakdown is,” Biden said. “It’s health.”

White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden said insurers legally must provide equal mental health coverage to medical coverage, but many find ways around the law.

“Often insurers don’t provide enough physicians in their networks or they create prior authorization,” Tanden said. “A bunch of hurdles. So, a lot of people, millions of people, are paying out of pocket for healthcare.”

Tanden said 50 percent of those who need mental healthcare are not receiving it.

“They can’t afford it. And it’s really because of this inequity, this problem that insurers are supposed to be providing coverage for you, and they’re not.”

Biden’s rule would force insurers to make sure the outcomes of coverage plans are equal for mental and medical health and close loopholes the administration says are allowing insurers to skirt the rules.

“We must fullfill the promise of true mental health parody for all americans,” Biden said.

The proposed rule is not finalized and still needs to go through a public comment period.