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Medicaid expansion opt-outs deny mental healthcare services for half a million

April 7, 2015
by Julia Brown, Associate Editor
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A recent study from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) shows that nearly 570,000 people diagnosed with a serious mental health condition might have received covered treatment but did not have access within the 24 states that opted out of the Medicaid expansion program. The program was included as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

Entitled “Access Denied: Non-Medicaid Expansion States Blocked Uninsured People with Serious Mental Illness from Receiving Affordable, Needed Treatments,” the study also reports that 458,000 fewer people possibly would have avoided a depressive disorder by securing health insurance through the Medicaid expansion and accessing treatment. 

Many of the eligible individuals in the non-expansion states had severe mental health conditions and did not have any health insurance coverage through public or private health plans. 

According to the study, the 26 states (and the District of Columbia) that did participate in the 2014 expansion helped 351,000 people with mental illness obtain services. The study claims 348,000 people did not develop a depressive disorder due to securing Medicaid coverage because of expanded programs in those states.

Read the full report here: