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How the lack of state participation in the Medicaid Expansion will punish Americans with mental illness

March 01, 2014

A new, groundbreaking study by the American Mental Health Counselors Association shows that nearly 4 million people with mental illnesses who are uninsured reside in the 25 states that have refused to participate in the Medicaid Expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these individuals have severe mental health conditions and currently have no health insurance coverage through any public or private plan, but will be denied the opportunity to obtain coverage for treatment since those states have refused to participate. States declining Medicaid Expansion represent 55 percent of all uninsured people with major mental health disorders who are eligible for coverage in the new health insurance access initiative. 

The comprehensive study — “Dashed Hopes, Broken Promises, More Despair: How the Lack of State Participation in the Medicaid Expansion Will Punish Americans With Mental Illness”  shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state’s antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative. 

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