Health Reform Brief: Affordable Care Act Will Increase Coverage, Demand for Mental Health Services

0 | Health Reform

This Kansas Health Institute health reform brief examines how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may affect Kansans with mental illness as well as mental health providers. Through the individual mandate, a potential expansion of Medicaid and other provisions, the ACA will increase the number of people with health insurance.

About 90 percent of the approximately 351,000 Kansans who now lack health insurance could be income-eligible for either the optional expanded Medicaid program or federally subsidized private coverage through the new health insurance exchange. Researchers estimate that at least one in six people in this newly insured group has serious mental health problems and that the demand for mental health services will increase as this group gains coverage.

Funding for this project was provided by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, a philanthropy based in Hutchinson, and the Kansas Health Foundation in Wichita, a philanthropic organization whose mission is to improve the health of all Kansans.

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