This whole separation of mental health and physical health benefits was changed in the Mental Health Parity Law. It did not reach as far as disability benefits, but I do not believe that it is right.
There are so many scholarly articles discussing this discrimination and encouraging Congress to amend ERISA to prevent differences in coverage of long term disability in mental illnesses and physical illnesses. I would encourage anyone who can try to fight this discrimination with an appeal or lawsuit to do so.
Please contact and visit all your Representatives. It will be the only way change will occur.
How ridiculous this separation of mental and physical health. Brain scans are starting to show differences in bipolar and depression brains compared to normal brains. Medications alter brain neurotransmitters. And there is also something called Mass Spectrometry that can measure these chemical differences in the brain & different receptors. Perhaps these tests are not used clinically yet, but they are in the literature.
In addition, the treatments Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which affect the neurons of the brain and are thought to change dopamine levels, VNS Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Deep Brain Stimulation require surgical intervention and how can anyone argue that if surgery is involved it is a physical illness.
Mental Illness is only a term so insurance companies can separate these illnesses not pay and make a profit until lawyers, politicians, advocates etc. stop the ugly discrimination.
What of ECT, electroconvulsive therapy that was approved before the FDA was in existence which requires a being anesthesized and a large voltage of electricity to induce a seizure. This sounds extremely physically altering to me.
Please seek out those doctors that are familiar with the literature and fight this discrimination.
Today there are many Doctors Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. Neurology which was once a specialty is being divided into subspecialties like Memory Disorders, MS, Alzhemiers, Parkinson’s disorder etc.
This is so encouraging because the brain is so complex and the diseases that are associated with it are devastating. So the Doctors are becoming more specialized within the brain.
MRI’s, Spect scans other imaging techniques have been around for over 30 years. When will they start to become routine in “mental illnesses”? All these drugs alter the brain and noone is taking a baseline image. My kidneys are monitored.
MRI machines have improved imaging. Medicine takes 5 years to get from research to clinical, but in MI seems longer. Ask more of your clinicians, lawyers and politicians……
You may be suprised. We need advocates to change this. Every voice counts.