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Dealing with Systems


The Insurance System

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Can't find what you're looking for? Our health information specialists are here to help. Contact us at 800-233-4050 or online.


The majority of Americans who have health insurance receive this coverate through employer-provided health insurance plans. Millions of Americans, however, do not have private health insurance, relying primarily on public programs to pay for health services.

Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 began a multi-year process implementing signficant changes to the health care system in the United States.  For more information on ACA and how it may affect you and your family now or in the future, see The Health Care Law and You.

Insurance Parity

Mental health treatment often is not paid for at the same rate as other health care costs, and there may be limits on the number of visits. As of August 2002, 34 States had enacted "parity" laws that require insurers to pay for mental health and other health care costs either at the same rates or within the same annual or lifetime limits (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 2002).

Other Web Sites:

  • Center for Medical Home Improvement
    A resource for professionals and parents seeking to implement strategies for building a medical home and improve primary care for children with special needs.
  • Healthcare.gov
    This resource provides a wide array of information to patients who wish to learn more about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The Web site includes information on obtaining health insurance through public and private insurance plans.
  • Legal Protection and Advocacy Strategies for People with Severe Mental Illnesses in Managed Care Systems
    This NAMI resource provides an overview of legal issues in both the public and private sectors. The manual is a blueprint for challenging decisions and practices in often-complicated systems.
  • National Health Law Program
    The National Health Law Program is a national public interest law firm that seeks to improve health care for poor and underserved populations. NHeLP works by serving programs and organizations, but does not provide direct service to individuals (though can be a resource for further information).
  • NCSL - Health Insurance Coverage for Young Adults
    This page lists different States' policies regarding health coverage for young adults and dependents. Currently, young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 account for approximately 13 million uninsured people in the United States.
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