Is Mental Healthcare Becoming More Affordable?
October 28, 2022
By Anna McKenzie
How can you find affordable mental healthcare? According to a 2021 survey by McKinsey & Company, one in four people with a mental health condition reported that they did not believe mental healthcare was affordable for them. But is that really true? And is mental healthcare even worth the investment?
The Falling Stigma of Mental Healthcare
Mental health is a complicated subject that has historically been accompanied by a social stigma. Poor mental health has sometimes been seen as a moral, intellectual, or socioeconomic problem instead of a biological and psychological condition that does not discriminate.
However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral healthcare visits increased by 17%, and the percentage of adults seeking psychotherapy increased by 28%. Anxiety and depression became more common among the US population, and the stigma decreased as a result, according to the McKinsey research. Talking about mental health and seeking treatment became more socially acceptable also. With more demand for mental healthcare, more options have become available for those seeking treatment.
The Value of Mental Healthcare
Is mental healthcare worth it? The value of mental wellness is measured far less in dollars and far more in quality of life, relationships, and work. To have a better outlook on life, to resolve painful hang-ups, and to learn healthy coping skills can be priceless for your future. Life will always have its challenges, and mental healthcare is designed to help you navigate them in a healthy way. In many ways, discovering your own resilience is worth more than money can buy.
People who are dealing with mental illness are more likely to report financial difficulties, even housing instability, reports McKinsey. These kinds of issues can increase mental stress and become a barrier to treatment. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you are less likely to pay for therapy sessions out of pocket. But do you really have to forego mental healthcare in the wake of financial instability? This may be when you need it the most. Insurance can help cover costs, and some churches and nonprofit programs may offer free or discounted therapy sessions. Either way, it’s worth exploring your options.
The Cost of Mental Healthcare in America
What can help bring down the cost of mental healthcare in America? Some solutions are already underway. For example, the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was a landmark piece of legislation that requires certain types of insurance policies to cover mental health and addiction treatment to the same extent that medical services are covered. This act has made mental healthcare more accessible and affordable for many Americans. If you have an insurance policy that falls under this law, you may have more coverage options than you think.
According to a 2022 report from the White House, the US spent $280 billion on mental health services in 2020, with one-fourth covered by Medicaid. Though we may not all agree on how to improve mental healthcare in America, one way to increase its affordability is to expand health insurance coverage, since the report showed Medicaid expansions increased the utilization of mental health services. More mental healthcare insurance means that more people will seek treatment.
Affordable Mental Healthcare at The Meadows
At Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, it’s our job to help you understand what your options are.
“My favorite part of my job is working with the families and patients, digging deep into their insurance policies and figuring out what we can do, what risks we can take to get treatment quickly and most affordably to them and their family,” says Director of Patient Finance Christina Day. “So when we go over the cost of the program, and it’s not financially doable for someone, we always suggest different routes that they could take.”
We also have a variety of program options that may be covered by mental healthcare insurance in varying degrees to help you find the best fit.
“We have inpatient, residential; we have intensive outpatient, which is an IOP,” says Shawn Mallicoat, Vice President of Patient Finance, “And we also have what you call virtual IOP. That’s where you can receive treatment virtually, doing an intensive outpatient program, along with workshops as another option.”
Mallicoat says one of the misconceptions many people have is that they cannot afford treatment. “And that truly is a misconception,” he says. “So many times I hear people say that The Meadows is only for people that have the financial means or wealthy people. But that’s not true. The Meadows has many great options that we can help you navigate.”
Explore Your Options at Rio Retreat Center
At Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, we provide a number of recovery workshops to help you improve your mental wellness and quality of life. When you reach out, we will help you learn what’s available to you. We can work with your budget or your insurance policy to find out what would be the best fit. Contact us today to find out how we can help you in your journey to wellness.