Six Months After the Affordable Care Act, Mental Health Treatment Still Not Accessible for Many Americans

For many, behavioral health coverage remains inadequate despite expansion of services since January 2014.

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Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

Although the ACA has made mental health treatment more affordable in some aspects, it is still not accessible for everyone.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (PRWEB) June 30, 2014

Six months ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made behavioral health treatment one of 10 essential health care benefits, but so far few people are seeing the benefits. Fort Lauderdale based mental health treatment provider, the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, believes this may be due to the stigma that follows mental health treatment.

“Unfortunately, many people are still opposed to seeking mental health treatment,” said Ben Brafman, a veteran of the behavioral health industry and founder of the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. “Stigma is still a factor, but so is uncertainty. People aren’t always sure that they need mental health treatment, nor do they know what to expect from treatment.”

Historically, mental health treatment has been treated differently than physical health when it comes to insurance coverage. Mental health parity is a key element of the Affordable Care Act – requiring insurers to provide coverage for behavioral health on par with what is provided for physical health. As of January 2014, many individuals received expanded behavioral health treatment coverage, however barriers to access are still preventing people from receiving treatment.

“Although the ACA has made mental health treatment more affordable in some aspects, it is still not accessible for everyone,” said Brafman, a 20-year behavioral health expert. “This is particularly relevant for the people who fall between the cracks of getting insurance coverage at work and qualifying for Medicaid.”

Some states have opted not to expand Medicaid to cover the gap between private insurance and Medicaid, making it difficult for those who come in between to access mental health treatment.

The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center provides treatment for a wide variety of behavioral health disorders through insurance or private pay. The stigma of mental health treatment prevents many clients from accessing their behavioral health benefits.

“There are still many barriers for people seeking mental health treatment. Although parity laws help decrease the stigma of behavioral health, there is still a long way to go,” said Brafman. “We hope that in the next six months through education about the law, coverage and treatment programs that we’re able to expand access to mental health treatment for those in our community. "

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The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a full service mental health facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness find a path to living better, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center offers a mental health program and support for a wide variety of mood and thought disorders including: depression, anxiety disorders, anger management, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. For more information on mental health treatment please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1-888-205-2775 or online at http://www.mentalhealthcenter.org.


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