by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
We have noted previously that a number of insurance companies have found ways to minimize costs of serious and lifelong mental health problems that are covered under the Mental Health Parity Act.
A similar dragging of feet seems to be occurring with providing health care (which includes mental health services) to 19-26 year olds. The New Health Care Law stipulates that this age group is to be covered under parental policies.
A number of insurers made “promises” that the 19-26 coverage would be provided starting this September (with a surcharge, of course) in order to make their sales pitches competitive, and now they are reneging.
This “gap” is only 4 months, but a serious illness or psychiatric problem can be devastating for a person this age.
Particularly hard hit will be emancipated students who cannot rely on parents. Those young persons trying to join the labor force may be unable to get any insurance.
We point out this “bait and switch” tactic of certain insurance companies. Although it follows the letter of the law, we hope it is not a harbinger of future ways that insurance companies will find to cut costs in particular ways and go against the spirit of what the new legislation hopes to achieve.
Karen Sue Smith, editorial director of AMERICA weekly newsmagazine, writes recently on the significance of making sure our young people ages 19-26 are treated in the fairest manner possible. This, and her previous articles on health care legislation, can be read at: