More information about continued inequalities between health insurance coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions and that of other medical conditions can be found in The Doctor is Out: Continuing Disparities Between Mental and Physical Health Providers in Health Insurance, a 2017 Milliman report and accompanying NAMI report that look at the shortages of in-network care providers and disproportionate out-of-pocket costs for people seeking mental health care.
Despite the passage of federal and state parity laws, Tennesseans living with mental health and addiction challenges continue to face barriers in finding affordable, quality care. This is, in part, attributable to insurance companies’ continued practice of denying coverage and limiting treatment options.
Historically, insurance plans covered treatment for behavioral health conditions (mental health and addiction) less generously than treatment for physical health conditions. Parity is about making health plans treat individuals with mental health and addiction fairly.