The passage of H.R. 3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the health care reform bill) last month was the culmination of months of hard work and determination by those in government who felt strongly about the nation’s responsibility to ensure that all citizens have access to a reasonable level of health insurance coverage.
The even better news for those who suffer from mental illness is that this bill piggybacks onto the Mental Health Parity Act that was passed last year as part of the economic stimulus package. In tandem, the bills ensure that more people will be able to have health insurance, and that their insurance will provide mental health coverage that is as broad as any other components of their policy. The Mental Health Parity Act went into effect January 1, 2010 and is just beginning to work its way into existing insurance plans and policies.