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How Health Insurance Providers Are Addressing The Mental Health Needs of Children and Adolescents


Published Sep 22, 2022 • by AHIP

Every American deserves access to effective, affordable, and equitable mental health support and counseling. With the COVID-19 pandemic has come an increase in demand for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services, particularly among the nation’s youth. As part of its commitment to improve access to mental health care, AHIP launched a new resource today which highlights how health insurance providers are addressing the mental health needs of children and adolescents with a range of innovative and collaborative approaches.

Young Americans in particular have experienced major life disruptions during the pandemic, including isolation, school closures, loss of social interaction, and loss of parents and caregivers. From April 2020 to June 2021, approximately 140,000 children experienced the death of a parent or caregiver, and this was 1.1 to 4.5 times higher for children in racial and ethnic minority groups. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14 and youth ages 15–24.

The resource notes actions health insurance providers are taking to address these startling statistics and help connect children and adolescents with the care they need, including:

  • Implementing best practices to help care providers integrate primary care and behavioral health care
  • Expanding telehealth networks and supporting providers interested in providing telehealth services
  • Providing support to school-based services, including through funding, providing educational resources, and facilitating access to virtual screenings for pediatric through college-age youth

The issue brief includes policy recommendations to help begin the necessary transformation to improve mental health and SUD care for America’s youth.

Click here to view AHIP’s Pediatric Mental Health issue brief

Click here to view AHIP’s Board of Directors’ Statement of Commitment On Improving Access To and Quality Of Mental Health and Addiction Support

Click here to view AHIP’s Vision for Improved Mental Health Care Access for Every American

Click here for AHIP’s Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary care issue brief