What Obamacare Means for Your Mental Health


You probably already know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA for short) gave millions of Americans access to health insurance. Just how "affordable" those plans are is up for debate, and probably will be until we're all old enough for Medicare. So it's a good thing that the ACA also massively increased our coverage to mental health services.

Here’s how:

True Parity

Thanks to the recognition that mental health care is an essential health benefit, insurance plans have to include equal coverage for care. Congress tried to do this back in 2008, but long story short, there were too many loopholes to actually get it done. Now, your insurer can no longer say that you can only see your therapist every other week or set other arbitrary limits that have nothing to do with your needs.

Preventive Care

Depression screening is now a preventive care service just like getting your blood pressure taken. Which is pretty smart considering that about 15 million people have depression. You don’t have to wait to see a doctor though, you can take a quiz right now to find out if you meet the criteria for depression or anxiety.

The Under 26 Clause

If you are under the age 26 and on your parent’s health insurance plan, you now have mental health coverage. This applies even if you are married, live in another state, or if mom and dad are the root of all your problems.

Along with other major reforms such as the health insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion, a whopping 60 million people can now go onto ZocDoc and book an appointment with psychiatrist or therapist who will help them achieve mental wellness no matter how many sessions it takes. (OK, it still isn’t that easy. But that’s a topic for another post.)

BTW: The ACA and Obamacare are the same bill. Kind of like how Kanye West is also known as Yeezus. Commit that fun fact to memory and you'll never wind up in a Jimmy Kimmel sketch like this one.