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Healthcare Reform

As a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, several provisions went into effect on September 23, 2010:

  • Youth, up to the age of 26, will be able to remain on their parent’s health insurance policies.
  • Children with pre-existing conditions, like autism or asthma, cannot be denied coverage.
  • With the exception of consumer fraud cases, insurers will not be able to cancel health insurance policies.
  • Insurers can’t deny claims, without providing the insured an opportunity to appeal.
  • Limits on the amount of money insurers will pay in insurance claims over a lifetime will be prohibited.
  • Restrictions on the insurers’ ability to impose annual limits on the value of insurance benefits will be implemented.
  • Coverage will be provided for some preventative services, such as depression screening, alcohol and drug use assessments, and behavioral assessments for children.

This CSMH policy brief provides an overview of health care reform and the implications for school mental health. The brief highlights important changes to health care under the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on mental health services for children and families. There is also a list of helpful resources and websites related to health care reform.

The websites listed below will continue to provide updated information about health care reform: 

  • Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation 
    This website, sponsored by the Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation, has an interactive timeline that illustrates when the provisions of the health care reform law will be implemented over the next several years.
    This website has information on grant opportunities related to prevention, workforce development, demonstration projects, and service provision for clients with Medicaid.  There are specific funding opportunities that will become available to support the operation of school-based health centers.
    This federal government website, managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, provides information to aid in the understanding of the Affordable Care Act, including information on the timeline for implementation, and aids consumers in accessing affordable health insurance coverage. 
    This informative blog is supported by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and contains information about the insurance regulations, grant opportunities, and updates on new legislation.
  • Georgetown Center for Children and Families 
    A section of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families website contains links to several helpful resources, including a summary of the laws, a children’s health policy blog, and several publications on health care reform implementation.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)  
    The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a website dedicated to health reform implementation, including information about the federal law, Medicaid, and grants. The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. 

The following documents address some of the implications of health care reform for children and adolescents, schools, individuals with mental illness, and diverse populations: