Leveling the Barriers
A Medicare bill which became effective last week creates a five year phase-in plan to bring mental health co-payments into line with other Medicare co-pay requirements. While we continue to wait for the Mental Health Parity legislation to clear, the Medicare initiative represents an important step to treating mental health conditions on an equal footing with other medical problems. Research studies point out that out-of-pocket costs are the greatest deterrent to a person seeking treatment. As Medicare recipients represent our older and disabled citizens, the easing of the co-pay burden may encourage people to seek earlier treatment for mental health problems.
Medicare's move is a big step forward.