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Separate and Unequal: Efforts to Achieve Parity In Mental Health Care

Liz Spikol

One out of five adults in the U.S. lives with mental illness and research shows that 40 to 50 percent of people with severe disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are not receiving any treatment.  On average, people with serious mental illness die younger than others; some research points to two decades of lost life span.

A few weeks ago on this show we looked at the potential impact of cuts in the O’Malley and Hogan budgets that would affect reimbursements and salaries of behavioral health providers in Maryland. Today we’re digging into what access to mental health treatment looks like for consumers with insurance and at some of the concerns of providers themselves. 

With us in the studio is Adrienne Ellis, Director of the Parity Project of the Mental Health Association of Maryland. Welcome to the show. 

If you have a complaint about your insurance, the Maryland Insurance Commissioner accepts complaints about health insurance only by mail.  The form to fill out and mail is available at this link.

For an Op Ed on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the Washington Post has several stories here and here. The Mental Health Association of Maryland's report, Access to Psychiatrists in 2014 Qualified Health Plans, was written by The Parity Project.  

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.