Colorado Struggling with Mental Health

By Cassie Cohen

Mental health patients are forced out-of-network seven times more often than physical care patients, and many are forced to pay more for services. Some mental health patients will not get the care they desperately need because they can’t afford it.

These are some of the results from a national study sponsored by Milliman, Inc. and released by Mental Health Colorado’s national organization Mental Health America, The Kennedy Forum, and other large mental health and substance use organizations.

Other findings include: Colorado mental health providers get paid 40% less than physical health providers and the state of Colorado does worse than most states with mental health patients having to go out of network for inpatient or outpatient care.

“This news confirms what we’ve heard across the state: People are paying too much and waiting too long to get the care they need,” says Andrew Romanoff, President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. “Too many Coloradans are suffering as a result.”

Parity laws for equal coverage for care are in effect at both the state and federal level. And insurance companies need to be held accountable.

Mental Health Colorado works to get the more than one million Coloradans the mental health and substance use care they need. Half of these people go without treatment.

Cassie Cohen is Public Interest Fellow at Mental Health Colorado.

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