The influence of health insurance on parent's reports of children's unmet mental health needs.

Maternal and Child Health Journal (Impact Factor: 2.24). 06/2008; 13(2):176-86. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-008-0346-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of unmet mental health needs in children identified by parents as having long-term emotional and behavioral problems, to identify the characteristics of these children, and to evaluate the influence of health insurance status and type on the odds of reporting unmet mental health needs.
We used the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NSCSHCN) to estimate the prevalence of unmet mental health needs among children with long-term emotional/behavioral conditions. Using logistic regression models, we also assessed the independent impact of insurance status and type on unmet needs.
Analyses indicated that of the nearly 67% of children who needed mental health care or counseling in the previous 12 months, 20% did not receive it. Moreover, parents of uninsured children were more likely to report unmet mental health needs than insured children. Parents of children covered by public health insurance programs (Medicaid, Children Health Insurance Program-CHIP, Title V, Military, Native American) were less likely to report unmet mental health needs than those with children covered by private health insurance plans.
Results from this study suggest a need for expansion of health insurance coverage to children especially those with long-term mental health conditions. It also suggests a need for parity between mental and physical health benefits in private health insurance.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Community dwelling military families from the National Guard and Reserve contend with deployment-related stressors in relative isolation, living in communities where mental health providers may have little knowledge of military culture. When they are community residents, active duty service members and families tend to live in close proximity to their military installations. This article will focus primarily on the challenges to quality mental health care for reserve component (RC) families. Where studies of RC families are absent, those of active component (AC) families will be highlighted as relevant. Upon completion of a deployment, reintegration for RC families is complicated by high rates of symptomatology, low service utilization, and greater barriers to care relative to AC families. A paucity of providers skilled in evidence-based treatments (EBTs) limits community mental health capacity to serve RC military families. Several emergent programs illustrate the potential for better serving community dwelling military families. Approaches include behavioral health homes, EBTs and treatment components, structured resiliency and parent training, military informed schools, outreach methods, and technology-based coping, and psychoeducation. Methods from implementation science to improve clinical skill acquisition and spread and sustainability of EBTs may advance access to and quality of mental health treatment and are reviewed herein. Recommendations related to research methods, military knowledge and treatment competencies, and transition to a public health model of service delivery are discussed.
    Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 07/2013; DOI:10.1007/s10567-013-0149-8 · 4.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insurance coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes for both children and adults when it makes health care affordable and helps consumers use care appropriately. This brief looks at how insur- ance improves health outcomes by helping people obtain preventive and screening services, prescription drug benefi ts, mental health and other services, and by improving continuity of care. Vulnerable popula- tions are especially at risk of poor health outcomes when they are uninsured. Insurance coverage can also improve social and economic well-being, by averting developmental problems in children, increas- ing workforce productivity, decreasing use of hospital services, and reducing costs of public programs.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ensuring access to appropriate treatment for children and adolescents with mental health needs is a major policy concern. Recent legislation in the form of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) offers hope for mental health care to a large number of families; however, the lack of a federal definition of mental illness and state differences in coverage, often excluding children's diagnoses, are major limitations in coverage that perhaps might not meet the needs of youth with serious emotional disturbances. Implications of this parity legislation for children and youth are discussed with a particular focus on children and youth with Severe Emotional Disturbance.
    Social Work in Mental Health 01/2012; 10(1):12-33. DOI:10.1080/15332985.2011.609776