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Mental Health Support, Covered

If you or a loved one are experiencing a life-threatening mental health situation, call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 988.

The Issue

Mental well-being is fundamental to good overall health. More Americans than ever are seeking mental health support, making it essential to provide high-quality, accessible, affordable, and equitable mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) support.

However, access to mental health has been, and continues to be, challenging due to physical and social barriers, and a shortage of clinicians.

Get The Facts

Health insurance plans constantly create new ways to work with people, plans, and communities to grow access to mental health support.

We’re making progress – more people are getting treatment they need. But sadly, the mental health crisis is accelerating, especially among young people, and we all must do more for the 1-in-5 Americans who are struggling right now.

We’re advocating for more support to grow the mental health provider pool, promoting more robust quality standards to ensure patients are getting good care, and continuing to integrate mental health into the places where people already get health care. 

Mental Health, Improved

We’re making progress – more people are getting the treatment they need and are satisfied with the support they’ve received. 

  • 48% in 3 years

    The number of in-network mental health providers grew by an average of 48% in 3 years among commercial health plans.

  • 40% of visits

    Almost 40% of visits for psychotherapy were conducted through a telehealth appointment in 2020, compared to less than 1% in 2019 — a hundred-fold increase in just one year.

  • 3-in-4 Insured Americans

    Nearly 3-in-4 insured Americans said it was easy to get the mental health support they needed.

  • 88% of voters

    88% of voters who received care were satisfied with the mental health support they received through employer-provided health plans.

  • 89% of health plans

    89% of health plans are actively recruiting mental health support providers, including practitioners who reflect the diversity of the people they serve (83%).

  • $15

    Patients spent less than $15 in out-of-pocket costs for most drugs prescribed to treat mental health conditions.

In a clear sign of progress, the vast majority of Americans - 76%- now see mental health as important as physical health. Further, most Americans - 56% - are also seeking help. Our mission is to continue to support this trend so that all Americans have the access to mental health support that they need.

The Road Ahead

We know there’s much more to be done. Here’s how health insurance plans are taking action:

Integrating mental health support into primary care visits, exponentially increasing the avenues where people can find help.

Expanding access to telehealth appointments, so that mental health support can meet patients wherever they are.

Increasing the numbers and types of mental health professionals in health plan networks, so that more people in more places get access to qualified providers.

Helping clear geographical and social barriers to care, including working with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to advocate for new programs to grow the pool of mental health support clinicians and people’s access to them.

Working with patients, their families, and their communities, as well as health care professionals and state and federal policymakers, to prevent and address the SUD crisis facing our country, including promoting effective treatment options that support long-term recovery.

Helping patients find the services they need at a price they can afford and setting high-quality standards and guidelines to ensure patients see measurable results. 

Learn more by reading the AHIP Board of Directors’ Statement of Commitment and our detailed advocacy vision to further improve access to quality and equitable mental health support and SUD treatment for every American. You can find additional resources by visiting our Mental Health Issue Page.