How Will Obamacare Affect Individuals With a Mental Health Disorder?
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How Will Obamacare Affect Individuals With a Mental Health Disorder?

There are many reasons to be for and against The Affordable Care Act, perhaps better known as Obamacare. Whether the US should or should not adopt the Obamacare legislation has been one of the biggest hot button issues of the past four years. The bill was so controversial and divisive it ended up being sent to the highest court in the land for a final decision. With the Supreme Court ruling in favor of upholding the legislation as written, people are now wondering how it will impact them in the long run. Some people will benefit and others may not, but how the ramifications of the legislation will play out for Americans will have to be seen over time.

One group that may see only advantages from Obamacare’s proposed changes to the healthcare system are individuals struggling with a mental health issue. The legislation will expand coverage in a number of different ways to allow the estimated 4 to 6 million individuals with a mental illness that are currently without insurance to get the medical attention they need.

Positive Impacts Obamacare Has for Individuals With a Mental Health Disorder

Many experts claim that it will take a number of years before we fully understand the long-term consequences of the Obamacare legislation. In the meantime, for the mental health community the following benefits appear to be on the horizon:

  • Increased accessibility to coverage for mental health issues
  • No denial of coverage for pre-existing mental health disorders
  • Improved overall care including holistic and preventative options
  • Affordability of psychiatric drugs for seniors

It Will Take at Least 10 Years for Obamacare to Go Into Full Effect

Different components of Obamacare will be put into practice at different intervals, most of which will take place over the next decade. Nevertheless, some aspects of the law have already been implemented and may already be having a positive impact on individuals and families dealing with a mental disorder. The pieces of the legislation already actively in place include:

  • Insurance companies are no longer allowed a lifetime limit on how much they will spend on any one individual.
  • Coverage can no longer be denied to families with children suffering from a pre-existing condition such as a mental illness.

How do you feel Obamacare will affect the coverage and overall treatment for people suffering from mental health disorders? Tell us your opinion below.