Limited coverage for mental health draws criticism

BOSTON (AP) — Some employers are placing limits on coverage for mental health care in an effort to control costs, but advocates say such limits could be illegal.

The Boston Globe reports that some therapists must undergo lengthy phone interviews about patient progress before the insurance company approves further treatment. Therapists and patients say those reviews can be intimidating.

The executive director of the Group Insurance Commission, which covers 100,000 state and municipal workers and their families, says the agency tightened rules because mental health insurance rates have jumped by as much as 22 percent.

Advocates for the mentally ill say the restrictions may violate the 2008 federal mental health parity law, which requires the same coverage for mental health issues as physical ailments.


Information from: The Boston Globe,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.