You may have heard about - or directly experienced - an insurance denial for some type of medical care (i.e. you need a medical treatment or service, and your insurance company thinks otherwise). You may have even experienced an outright lack of coverage for specific medical needs (i.e. you need a medical treatment or service, and your insurance company simply doesn't cover it). These things happen pretty regularly, and dealing with health insurance issues can become a tedious nuisance. It has become commonplace for us to fight for our access to medical benefits. As a community, we get worked up about these types of denials, and we make a lot of noise about it.
But what about those suffering with mental health illnesses? Do we hear about these types of injustices and obstacles to obtaining insurance coverage for treatment as often? Is the shame and stigma attached to mental health issues allowing insurance companies to take advantage of our needs? Drown our voices? Dictate our needs?
Despite Mental Health Parity laws, insurers continue to violate our rights and access to mental health treatment. And thus, we need help figuring out how to get what we need – what should've been granted to us in the first place. We need help sorting through the bureaucracy, and understanding the confusing language of insurance policy and insurance law. We need our children, our family, and our friends to be able to access early intervention and effective treatment.
We need advocates.
Similar to the work we do at Kantor & Kantor, The Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project exists to make sure that people are able to obtain the services and treatment they need. They advocate for the countless families that have been denied coverage for the treatment of Autism and other mental health illnesses. Treatments that they advocate for include: speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral health therapy, residential treatment, Wilderness therapy, and other treatments for mental health and substance abuse.
In a world where mental health is a stigmatized and taboo subject; health benefits, insurance issues, and financial struggles can often be swept under the rug. In comparison to medical health benefits, the details and rules for mental health benefits become a bit fuzzier, the laws and regulations get stretched a bit further, and the complexities and resistance of insurance companies often leave people stuck without treatment.
Those working with the Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project remain our kindred spirts, as we are all fighting the same good fight: insurance coverage for and easy access to treatment for mental illness.
If you've been denied access to mental health benefits, or if your insurance company has delayed or terminated treatment, don't give up. There are awesome organizations like The Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project to help you.
In the meantime, know your rights and fight for them – because we all know that the fight for mental health parity is an uphill battle.
Are we making enough noise?