FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding Michiganders that many health plans cover mental health services, including telemedicine, which can help people get the support and services they need.
“The last 14 months have been challenging for all Michiganders. Many people could use some help or someone to talk to as they cope with the health and financial worries caused by the pandemic,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “It is important that Michiganders know that mental health services are considered an essential health benefit under Marketplace health insurance plans, and that many other types of plans also provide coverage. This can include things like office or virtual visits with a licensed mental health professional, substance abuse disorder treatment, or medications.”
Consumers should know that most health plans cover mental health and substance use disorder benefits and that out-of-pocket costs and coverage for those services are required to be similar to the out-of-pocket costs and coverage for other types of medical care. Consumers are encouraged to check with their health insurer to confirm coverage for mental health services and to make sure they understand their out-of-pocket expenses. If consumers have concerns about mental health-related insurance claims that cannot be resolved directly with the insurer, contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 877-999-6442 or filing a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
“Mental health is as important as physical health and should not be neglected, especially when insurance coverage is available,” said Fox. “If you are currently uninsured or if you want to change to a plan that offers mental health coverage, there is a special enrollment period that is open until August 15 and new, expanded subsidies that can help you afford coverage. You can get started by visiting HealthCare.gov.”
The Health Insurance Marketplace and application process, available at HealthCare.gov, has been updated to reflect newly expanded tax credits from the American Rescue Plan. Michiganders who need Marketplace health coverage should start a Marketplace application by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Coverage will start on the first of the month after a plan is selected, so coverage will start June 1 for plans selected in May.
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that is currently open through August 15. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.