Core to our mission of eliminating stigma and discrimination against people with mental health and substance use disorders is advocating for public policies that increase access to and equity in our treatment system.
The Kennedy Forum Illinois wants to ensure the full implementation and enforcement of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA or Parity Act) as well as the Illinois State Parity Law. These promised to end the inequities in insurance coverage between medical/surgical care and mental health and substance use disorder care.
The Kennedy Forum Illinois believes that health insurers must cover all medically necessary mental health and substance use disorder care and that they utilize the publicly accessible guidelines published by nonprofit clinical societies when making medical necessity determinations.
The use of telehealth as a means to accessing mental health and substance use disorder treatment has grown exponentially and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. As we enter a post-pandemic world, we must make permanent the gains made in telehealth policy to increase access to and equity care in the future.