CHA News Article

Study Shows ACA Could Provide Needed Mental Health Services to Half-Million Uninsured

A UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study indicates that a half-million uninsured adults in California could gain access to needed mental health treatment through health care reform. The study is based on data from the center’s 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which found an estimated 1.6 million California adults reported symptoms that were consistent with severe psychological distress and experienced difficulty with their day-to-day functioning. About a third of those adults – or a half million – were uninsured all or part of the year. In addition to providing health insurance coverage to as many as 4.6 million Californians, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will implement the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Mental health services will be part of the essential benefits package, a set of health care services that must be covered by certain plans. These include insurance policies that will be offered through Medi-Cal and the California Health Benefit Exchange. For more information, see the full study at