Monday, February 12, 2007

Funding Coverage for Mental Illness

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has agreed to introduce legislation creating so-called "mental health parity." The legislation would require health insurers to provide coverage for mental illness that is on par with the coverage provided for treatment of physical illness.

Undoubtedly, this will be a popular concept, but, at a time when health insurance costs are rising dramatically, it will also be an expensive mandate if it passes. The difficulty with providing extensive coverage for mental illness is that the definition of what it includes is so fluid, given that it is less easily concretely defined than most physical ailments. Every one's health coverage will cost more if this mandate is adopted.

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