What Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Does Obamacare Cover?

Category: Health Insurance Originally Posted: March 26, 2015 by HealthCare.com Staff Last modified: May 7, 2015

An estimated 42.5 million Americans suffer from a mental health issue, and 19.7 million have a substance abuse problem.1 Several Affordable Care Act provisions, also known as Obamacare provisions, aim to expand and improve access to mental health and substance abuse services. One key way the healthcare reform law does so is the requirement that compliant health plans include mental health and substance use disorder services. What mental health and substance use disorder services they cover, however, can seem a bit murky to those shopping for health insurance.

Free preventive care for mental health, substance abuse

Many mental health and substance abuse preventive services are available at no cost, and  include the following3:

  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling for adults
  • Depression screening for adults
  • Alcohol and drug use assessments for adolescents
  • Behavioral assessments for children of all ages
  • Depression screening for adolescents

These preventive services are not subject to copay, coinsurance or deductible when received in-network.

Additional ways Obamcare expands, improves access

In the past, a history of depression or time spent in rehab might have impacted your health insurance eligibility or translated into sky-high rates. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Obamacare prohibits insurers from denying applicants coverage or charging them more based on health history and preexisting health conditions. Past, present and future mental illness, behavioral health issues and substance abuse issues cannot impact your access to coverage or monthly premium rate.

For more information about Obamacare health insurance plans, call 877-275-0485.

1 Gillespie, Lisa. “Even with Coverage Expansion, Access to Mental Health Services Poses Challenges.” Kaiser Health News. Dec. 18, 2014. http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/even-with-coverage-expansion-access-to-mental-health-services-poses-challenges/.

2 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Additional Information on Proposed State Essential Health Benchmark Plans.” http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Data-Resources/ehb.html.

3 Ibid.