Mental Health Coverage Continues to Fall Short, Study Shows

More Americans turn to out-of-network providers when seeking mental health care than when seeking medical care, and the trend continues to worsen, a new study shows, despite a law designed to prevent this problem for people seeking treatment for conditions such as depression and addiction.

In an update of a landmark report about access to mental health treatment, researchers found that the disparity between medical coverage and mental and behavioral health coverage continued to grow in 2016 and 2017. In states like Connecticut, New York, and Maryland, patients were 10 times more likely to go out of network for behavioral health-care office visits than for primary care visits. This is a problem because out-of-network care is almost always more expensive.