“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that states can greatly improve access to behavioral health services for residents by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. According to the March 28 report in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, an estimated 1.9 million uninsured people with a mental illness or substance use disorder lived in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and had incomes that could qualify them for coverage. The report finds that people with behavioral health needs made up a substantial share of all low-income uninsured individuals in these states: nearly 30 percent. While some of these individuals had access to some source of health insurance in 2014, many will gain access to coverage only if their states expand Medicaid, and others would gain access to more affordable coverage.
To date, 30 states plus DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. However, 20 states—including many of the states that would benefit most—have not yet seized this opportunity.
The report can be accessed at: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/benefits-medicaid-expansion-behavioral-health.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – March 28, 2016