First Focus on Children sent the following letter to Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Mike Crapo, chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee to share insights on how to offer children and youth better access to mental health care.

Excerpt from the Letter:

While Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Mental Health Parity and Equity Act (MHPAEA) into law in 2008 (which addresses the disparities between general and behavioral health care and seeks to create equal access to behavioral health services), millions of children and their families have not enjoyed the benefits of this important law. Insurance companies have skirted the universal benefits guaranteed by the MHPAEA law, and enforcement of the law is lacking, meaning no one, including children and youth, has achieved equitable access over the past 14 years. Even the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act did not force all insurance companies to offer parity in behavioral health services. While patients have the legal right to equal access and coverage of behavioral health treatment services, coverage still remains restrictive.

Read the full letter.