Several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act became effective today, and many of them will improve the lives of those with mental health and substance use conditions.
• Children under age 19 can no longer be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. (This provision will be extended to adults in January 2014.)
• If a parent’s plan provides coverage for dependent children, it is now required to cover children up to age 26.
• Insurance companies can no longer set limits on the dollar amount of health benefits that they will cover in a year or over a person’s lifetime.
• All private plans are now required to cover co-payment and deductible-free preventive services, including depression screening for adults and adolescents.