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Uninsured With Mental Illness and Addiction Disorders Not Covered by State Healthcare Initiatives
Date:7/17/2008

State Healthcare Reforms for the Uninsured Fail to Address the High Percentage of people with Mental Illness and Addiction Disorders

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 17, 2008 -- New data indicates that more than one in four adult Americans without medical insurance have a mental illness or addiction disorder, or both.

Many state healthcare initiatives that intended to cover the uninsured are neglecting these behavioral health conditions, according to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council).

The report is available at www.HealthcareforUninsured.org. It is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Mental illness is the leading cause, and addiction is the second leading cause, of disability among adults. Approximately one-third of people with these disorders, living below the federal poverty line, do not have insurance.

"We can effectively treat addiction disorders and mental illnesses and people that suffer from these debilitating conditions deserve treatment," said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council. "It is distressing that there are insurance plans and healthcare reform initiatives that continue to discriminate against behavioral healthcare."

The report reveals that benefits for mental illness and addiction treatment vary greatly across states. Among the report's findings:

  • Based on a study of 18 states, approximately 60% provide equal coverage
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