Access and Cost Barriers to Mental Health Care: Findings from Integrated Health Interview Series, 1999-2010

Kathleen Rowan, University of Minnesota
Christine G. Kunitz, University of Minnesota

Barriers to mental health care are a persistent problem despite changes in access to care. While the number of persons being treated for mental health problems has increased in the past 10 years, the number facing cost barriers to mental health care increased as well. Expanded access to mental health care through Medicaid in the public sector and parity legislation in the private sector has helped increased access to care. However, the increased use of managed care organizations and cost sharing for services has risen, and it is unclear how these changes have affected the level of unmet need for mental health care. This study expands upon a previous study (Mojtabai, 2005), which reported an increase in cost barriers, but we examine these differences among insurance groups. Addressing gaps in coverage in mental health care is an important consideration in the design of insurance benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

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Presented in Poster Session 5