Insuring service for individuals with disabilities

I got this quite welcome news from a representative to the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

House and Senate negotiators have hammered out a compromise on legislation to require private health insurance plans to cover mental health and addictive disorder services under the same terms and conditions as other types of care. Mental health and addictive disorder advocacy organizations—including groups as disparate as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Retail Federation, and the Alliance for Children and Families—are pushing for passage of this legislation before Congress adjourns. The parity legislation is based on H.R. 1424 and S. 558, and would go a long way toward reducing the stigma associated with mental health care, and improving access to treatment. Mental illness is the leading cause of primary disability in the U.S.

People who work with individuals with disabilities understand that this is a substantial step forward. It is likely to provide access to services for many families of children with disabilities, services (e.g., intensive behavioral intervention) that are often crucial the children’s success.

As the American Counseling Association (ACA) noted, today is a great day for US residents to call their representatives in the US Congress. Link to the ACA Web site.