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Only 4 percent of Americans know about mental health parity. Even though 27 percent of Americans have received treatment or therapy from a mental health professional, few people know that health insurers are required to provide coverage for mental health, behavioral health, and substance-use disorders that is comparable to coverage for physical health, according to new American Psychological Association survey. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was passed in 2008, yet only 4 percent of Americans say they are aware of the law, according to survey, which was conducted online between March 7 and 24 among more than 1,000 adult Americans by Harris Poll. Despite increased national attention on mental health and access to services, awareness of the law has not increased since APA last surveyed on this issue in 2010.

More access to mental health care is a given , but many people may already have coverage and not know it or not understand how to use it: 29% said their insurance has limits on mental health care, 24% said they aren’t sure if their insurance offers the same coverage for mental and physical care, 56% said that their current health insurance provides coverage to see a psychologist or other mental health professional, 22% said that cost was a barrier to seeking treatment.

Please contact your health care provider to inquire about the your mental health coverage. If your insurance does not cover your child’s mental health services, please contact us at www.susiebean.org.

The full methodology of the survey is available at http://on.apa.org/parity-law.