In Rural Calif., Insurance Denials And Scarcity Of Doctors Complicate Access To Mental Health Care
Shariah Vroman-Nagy knew she needed treatment for her mental illness, but she was faced with one obstacle after another when she tried to get help.
Depressed Teen’s Struggle To Find Mental Health Care In Rural California
Since 2010, the state received almost 900 appeals from patients saying their insurer unfairly denied inpatient mental health treatment, according to data from the Department of Managed Health Care, the main health insurance regulator in the state. The department overturned 47 percent of those decisions. Insurers are allowed to deny coverage for certain treatments, if they determine that the care is not “medically necessary.” This determination is based on evidence-based clinical standards in both mental and medical care, but it has become a key battleground for mental health advocates. (Dembosky, 6/1)