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New Rules Make Care More Accessible For Mentally Ill

New rules will strengthen the 2008 Mental Health Equity law.
New rules will strengthen the 2008 Mental Health Equity law. 

This is a big deal because it stops insurance companies from charging more for mental health treatment. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebilius made the announcement Friday. The rules prevent insurers from charging higher co-pays and deductibles for substance abuse and mental health treatment. They also prevent insurers from putting a cap on the number of appointments a patient can have for treatment. Finally, insurers cannot deny coverage to people who have a history of mental illness. Doctors say it is a step in the right direction. 

"It is a serious medical problem. I view these all as medical problems and there are ways to treat people very effectively. At least for many now they'll be more accessible," Dr. Eric Caine said.

Insurance companies are critical of the law. They say mental illnesses cannot be accurately compared to physical ones. They also say the change could lead to higher premiums. 
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