Current state health care initiatives are doing too little to help people who suffer from behavioral health disorders.
Researchers at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Arlington, Va., and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Rockville, Md., make that argument in a new paper on how state health coverage initiatives are handling behavioral health issues.
The researchers looked at 18 state initiatives and initiative proposals.
The researchers note that the issue affects private insurers as well as public health finance programs: More than 15% of privately insured adult Americans have a mental illness, addiction disorder, or both.
Behavioral health problems also have a big effect on public and private disability insurance programs.
Mental illness is the leading cause of disability among adults, and addiction is the second leading cause, the researchers report.