The purpose of this study was to analyze California's mental health parity law of 1999, a policy that mandates private insurance companies cover severe mental illnesses at the same level as medical diagnoses. Emphasis was placed on the effect of California's mental health parity law on older adults. California's mental health parity law was effective in increasing access and utilization of mental health services and had positive economic effects on Californians.
Challenges to the effectiveness of the law existed. Insurance companies limited the effectiveness of mental health parity with managed care policies, such as including limits to visits per year and requiring prior authorization. Consumer and provider confusion about the law also reduced the law's effect. California's mental health parity law excludes those without private insurance and those suffering from mental illnesses not listed in the law. Recommendations for research, practice and policy are discussed.
|Advisor:||Jennings, Lisa K.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Gerontology, Law, Social work, Public policy|
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