Nav: Home

Health insurance changes, access to care by patients' mental health status

September 06, 2017

A research letter published by JAMA Psychiatry examined access to care before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and after the ACA for patients grouped by mental health status using a scale to assess mental illness in epidemiologic studies.

The ACA expanded health insurance to millions of Americans through insurance reforms, Medicaid expansions and subsidies for coverage in the marketplace. The ACA also expanded mental health coverage through mental health parity reforms and through the provision of essential health benefits, which included mental health services.

The study by Elizabeth Sherrill, B.S., and Gilbert Gonzales, Ph.D., M.H.A., of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, builds on previous research and examines changes in access to care for adults by mental health status using data from a national sample.

The final sample included 77,095 adults and they were classified according to a scale as having moderate mental illness, severe mental illness or no mental illness.

The research letter suggests adults with severe mental illness were more likely to be unemployed, have low income and have poor or fair health. The authors found:
  • A decrease in uninsured adults with no mental illness and moderate and severe mental illness.

  • A decrease in having no usual source of care, delayed medical care, forgone medical care and forgone prescription medications for adults with moderate mental illness.

  • A decrease in forgone prescription medications and forgone mental health care for adults with severe mental illness.

The research letter notes limitations, including study design and other potential mitigating factors. The authors suggest that not finding improvement in some areas for adults with severe mental illness could be attributable to factors not fully addressed by the ACA.

"Access to care has improved for adult with MMI [moderate mental illness] and SMI [severe mental illness]. Of importance, forgone mental health care decreased significantly for individuals with SMI. However, gaps in access persist," the research letter concludes.
-end-
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/ jamapsychiatry.2017.2697)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

To place an electronic embedded link to this study in your story Link will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2697

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Mental Illness Articles:

Researchers challenge myth of the relationship between mental illness and incarceration
Researchers examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and future incarceration by merging data from psychiatric interviews that took place in the 1980s with 30 years of follow-up data.
New research raises important questions on how mental illness is currently diagnosed
This research raises questions as to whether current diagnoses accurately reflect the underlying neurobiology of mental illness.
Young teens of color more likely to avoid peers with mental illness
Students identifying as black or Latino are more likely to say they would socially distance themselves from peers with a mental illness, a key indicator of mental illness stigma, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Hair could be the key to better mental-illness diagnosis in teens
It's possible that a lock of hair could one day aid in the diagnosis of depression and in efforts to monitor the effects of treatment, said the author of a new study examining cortisol levels in the hair of teens.
Body and mind need care in mental illness
The 18-year life expectancy gap between people with mental illness and the general population can only be bridged by protecting patients' physical and mental health, according to a new study.
More support needed for young carers of parents with mental illness
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) says there is a 'clear need' for more support for young carers of parents with a mental illness as they move into adulthood.
Where to draw the line between mental health and illness?
Schizophrenia is considered an illness by nearly all Finns, while grief and homosexuality are not.
Mental illness not to blame for gun violence study finds
Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence.
Prefrontal cortex development and mental illness
Faulty wiring of the prefrontal cortex during development leads to abnormal brain activity and cognitive impairments related to mental illness, according to a mouse study published in JNeurosci.
Smartphone app effective for serious mental illness treatment
A smartphone program was just as effective in treating people with serious mental illnesses as a clinical intervention -- and it had a significantly better rate of treatment engagement, according to a study published today in the journal Psychiatric Services.
More Mental Illness News and Mental Illness Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.