New Report Grades N.H. A ‘C’ For Mental Health Parity

Oct 5, 2018

A new report that grades how well states are doing with enforcing laws around insurance coverage for mental illness gives New Hampshire a "C."


The report, from the Kennedy Satcher Center for Health Equity, marks 10 years since the passage of a federal law which requires insurers to cover mental illness like depression the same as cancer or diabetes.


Ken Norton is Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New Hampshire. He says, with a shortage of qualified providers in the state, the decision sometimes lies with them whether or not they will accept insurance.


"We hear that from a lot from families, and that's psychiatrists, clinicians, everybody right on down,” Norton says. “Some providers are just saying 'no, I only take cash payment and you deal with your insurance provider.'"


Overall though, Norton says New Hampshire is doing well in moving mental health parity forward.


An ongoing challenge, he says, is making sure consumers know that insurers are required to provide mental health coverage in the first place.