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Healing the Broken MindTransforming America's Failed Mental Health System$
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Timothy A. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748121

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748121.001.0001

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Fair Is Fair

Fair Is Fair

Parity for Mental Health Coverage

(p.91) 4 Fair Is Fair
Healing the Broken Mind

Timothy A. Kelly

NYU Press

This chapter argues that “parity” must be implemented so that mental health treatment coverage matches physical health coverage. More specifically, it proposes health insurance that would provide as much coverage for mental health needs as for physical health needs. It first considers the definition of mental health parity and goes on to discuss the question of which mental health diagnoses should be covered by an insurance policy. It then examines mental health parity laws in various states, such as Ohio and Vermont, along with mental health parity legislation at the federal level. It also comments on the issue of medical necessity applied to mental health services, denial of care versus overdiagnosis, and the problem of how to provide health care for the uninsured. The chapter concludes by suggesting that parity and clinical necessity must be combined with other important concepts, such as focusing first on serious mental illness so that those who most need care receive it on a priority basis.

Keywords:   mental health treatment, health insurance, mental health, mental health parity, mental health parity laws, medical necessity, denial of care, overdiagnosis, uninsured, mental illness

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