Despite provisions in the Affordable Care Act meant to reduce insurance coverage disparities for people with mental health issues, access to healthcare services have deteriorated for those reporting severe distress, according to a new study.
Those ACA provisions, in addition to those found in the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, were meant to increase access to services. But researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center found that about 9.5 percent of psychologically distressed Americans in 2014 still didn't have health insurance that would give them access to a psychiatrist or counselor. That's a slight increase from 2006, when 9 percent lacked any insurance.
About 10.5 percent in 2014 experienced delays in getting professional help due to insufficient mental health coverage, while 9.5 percent said they experienced such delays in 2006. And 9.9 percent could not afford to pay for their psychiatric medications in 2014, up from 8.7 percent in 2006.