Special thanks to The Transition Policy Consortium from the Pathways to Positive Futures Training & Technical Assistance Center for sharing this great information. Learn more about the work they do at http://www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu/

The Impact of Health Care Reform on Services and Supports for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

By 2014, approximately 80% of young adults who would otherwise be uninsured will have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as health care reform or "Obamacare"). What does this mean for young adults with serious mental health conditions? This article answers frequently asked questions, and urges stakeholders to get involved now to influence important decisions that will determine what sorts of services and supports will be made available under the ACA.

No one knows yet exactly how health care reform will impact young people with serious mental health conditions, because many important decisions about how to implement the new law have not yet been made. What is clear is that advocacy will be necessary to ensure that the needs and priorities of young adults are addressed when these decisions are made.

Under health care reform, millions of young adults who were previously uninsured will gain access to important benefits such as psychosocial counseling and prescription drugs. However, past experience suggests that some of the services and supports that are most helpful and attractive for young adults with serious mental health conditions may not be widely available, unless policy makers make a special effort to ensure that they are. That’s why it is important that advocates and other concerned citizens understand what’s at stake and what they may be able to do to influence these important decisions. This FAQ can help you get started.

Won’t the new health care reform law bring mental health coverage to many more young adults, including those with serious mental health conditions?

What sort of mental and behavioral health treatment will young adults now be able to receive under private health insurance plans?

What sort of mental and behavioral health treatment will young adults now be able to receive under Medicaid?

Are there other decisions that states will be making that will impact the services and supports that are available to young adults with serious mental health conditions?

How You Can Get Involved

Where You Can Get More Information

The sites below all have a lot of high quality, regularly updated information about ACA, including information about what states are doing to implement ACA:

 

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