A local agency says people affected by mental illness or drug abuse should get better treatment under the Affordable Care Act.
The law will result in health insurance coverage for some mental health services and treatments that have traditionally been denied or weren't covered by health insurance plans.
The ACA classifies mental health and substance abuse services among the ten essential health benefits. Donna Hartford is the Executive Director of Community Health and Wellness at the Home Nursing Agency, which offers counseling and other behavioral health services.
She says, "people will be able to get more care have a better life, perhaps save lives, perhaps save dollars in terms of physical health."
However, she is concerned that, at first, the need for mental services will be greater than the current number of providers can handle.
The Affordable Care Act eliminates yearly and lifetime dollar limits on coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions.
Also, insurers won't be able to deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing conditions.