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Study: Patients Are Using Their Behavioral Health Benefits

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on February 20, 2019

Patients deserve comprehensive coordinated care that addresses their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Health insurance providers are committed to ensuring access to quality mental health care and treatment for substance use disorders in the context of whole-person care. And there’s progress in the right direction, according to a FAIR Health study that shows dramatic growth in claims for drug and mental health treatment.

Significantly more people are getting mental health treatment in the decade since the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAE) was enacted in 2008.

  • Private insurance claims for behavioral health diagnoses increased 320 percent from 2007-2017
  • Claims related to specific mental health diagnoses:
    • Anxiety claims increased 242 percent
    • PTSD claims increased 177 percent
    • Major depressive disorder claims increased 172 percent
    • Bipolar disorder claims increased 103 percent
    • OCD claims increased 65 percent
    • Adjustment disorders (including anxiety and depression) increased 65 percent

Recognizing the importance of behavioral health care to having good physical and mental health, our industry has long supported increased access provided by MHPAEA, have worked hard to implement these protections, and to innovate improvements in care. The significant increase in claims for mental health substance use disorder treatment since passage of the parity law provides strong evidence that MHPAEA is working and that consumers are using these benefits to feel better and get the care they need.