SCH 051 Why Do Health Insurance Companies Treat Mental Illnesses Differently?

Health insurance companies treat mental illnesses differently from physical illnesses. How do I know? Our family has experienced both. The difference in our treatment was striking. Listen in to this imaginary conversation to see for yourself. #cancer #mentalillness #healthinsurance #NAMI #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthmonth #selfcarehacks #selfcare #podcast #bipolar #anxiety #depression

<small>Health insurance companies treat mental illnesses differently from physical illnesses. How do I know? Our family has experienced both. The difference in our treatment was striking.</small>

Ever Wondered if Health Insurance Companies Treat Mental Illnesses Differently?

Unless you or someone in your family has experienced a mental health crisis, you probably had no idea that health insurance companies treat mental illnesses differently. During Pedro’s catastrophic cancer crisis, I had a run-in or two with the insurance company over minor things. In retrospect, I’m sure my stress levels made me more aggressive than I usually am. As the pile of hospital and doctor bills stacked higher and higher, I started questioning every explanation of benefits that showed up in the mail.

Honestly, our insurance plan shocked most pharmacies, though. I could walk out of Safeway with two, $6,000.00 injections without having to pay a single cent out of pocket. And as Pedro’s condition worsened, the teaching hospital where he received treatment kept asking the insurance company for authorization for more and more experimental treatments. The insurance company never denied them. If they had, Pedro wouldn’t have made it.

I love our insurance company and our employer for choosing such a robust policy. But when our youngest daughter faced a mental health crisis, all those good feelings evaporated. I’d never read the fine print on the mental health benefits of our policy because, well, we’d never really needed to use them before.

I soon discovered just how antiquated and ridiculous the policy was. Having experienced both a catastrophic health crisis and a catastrophic mental health crisis, I couldn’t help but envision what would happen if health insurance companies treated cancer the same way they treat mental illnesses.

The podcast has an IMAGINARY conversation between me and a fictitious health insurance company.

Show Notes

I am not the only one to notice the lack of parity. Check out this article.

Are your mental health rights being violated by your insurance company?

Health insurance companies treat mental illnesses differently from physical illnesses. How do I know? Our family has experienced both. The difference in our treatment was striking. Listen in to this imaginary conversation to see for yourself. #cancer #mentalillness #healthinsurance #NAMI #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthmonth #selfcarehacks #selfcare #podcast #bipolar #anxiety #depression
Why do health insurance companies treat mental illness differently? #stopthestigma #mentalhealthmonth Click To Tweet

Come Back Next Week

Next week I’ll tackle the sacred cow. Not literally. But the sacred cow of Christianity and mental illness. Christians have mental health problems, too.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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