The Magic Pill: Will The Affordable Care Act Fix Mental Health Care?

Credit Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

"...how flimsy is the veil separating us from [the mentally unhealthy], how tenuous is the illusion that we are invulnerable and cannot be touched by a catastrophic accident, diagnosis or death."

- Pauline W. Chen, M.D.

"If you lose your doctor or medication – if you lose your job or insurance – you end up back at square one and lose years of work. Until they find the magic pill, people with mental illness are going to be in the struggle daily. It’s invisible and all outsiders see is the potential for violence, or laziness."

- Jared Wilmer, 29, first signs of his mental illness appeared when he was 19.

WYPR News explores the future of mental healthcare and The Affordable Care Act in the series, “The Magic Pill."

The Magic Pill, Part 1: The Good, The Bad, The Open Questions

The Magic Pill, Part 2: Getting Fair And Equal With Your Mental Health Care

The Magic Pill, Part 3: I've Got This Insurance Card, Now How Do I Get The Care?

The Magic Pill, Part 4: Is Anybody Out There?

The Magic Pill, Part 5: Having Insurance May Not Be Enough To Meet Your Mental Health Care Needs

Affordable Care Act
10:38 am
Fri November 15, 2013

The Magic Pill, Part 5: Having Insurance May Not Be Enough To Meet Your Mental Health Care Needs

Psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Komrad, says he used to take health insurance, but "couldn't practice the way I wanted to," and would have had to take four patients in an hour to get adequately paid with the insurance companies' lower reimbursement rates.
Credit Mary Rose Madden

This story is the fifth installment in a five-part series on mental health care. Click here for the entire series.

The Magic Pill, Part 5: Having Insurance May Not Be Enough To Meet Your Mental Health Care Needs

While the White House struggles with the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare Exchange web site, many with psychiatric problems say the shortage of mental health professionals is their primary concern. 

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Affordable Care Act
6:10 am
Thu November 14, 2013

The Magic Pill, Part 4: Is Anybody Out There?

A Zen Garden in Dr.Mark Komrad's office. Many westerners say the Chinese symbol for "crisis" (pictured) is the combination of two characters that represent "danger" and "opportunity".
Credit Mary Rose Madden

This story is the fourth installment in a five-part series on mental health care. Click here for the entire series.

Insurance Networks don't always  provide accurate - and adequate - networks.   At what point is a network that doesn't provide sufficient numbers of providers and information crossing the line? 

Magic Pill, Part 4: Is Anybody Out There?

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Affordable Care Act
6:10 am
Wed November 13, 2013

The Magic Pill, Part 3: I've Got This Insurance Card, Now How Do I Get The Care?

Behavioral Health workers taking calls for The Baltimore Crisis Response Hotline
Credit Mary Rose Madden

This story is the third installment in a five-part series on mental health care. Click here for the entire series.

I've Got This Insurance Card, Now How Do I Get The Care?

Millions of Americans are expected to have expanded mental health and substance abuse benefits under Obamacare and the 2008 Mental Health Parity Law.

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Affordable Care Act
6:10 am
Tue November 12, 2013

The Magic Pill, Part 2: Getting Fair And Equal With Your Mental Health Care

A stuffed version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream," found in Mark Komrad's office.
Credit Mary Rose Madden

This story is the second installment in a five-part series on mental health care. Click here for the entire series.

For years, having health insurance didn't necessarily mean you were covered for mental healthcare.  But, recent regulations from The White House aimed to fix that.  Think it can work?

The Magic Pill, Part 2: Getting Fair And Equal With Your Mental Healthcare

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Affordable Care Act
6:10 am
Mon November 11, 2013

The Magic Pill, Part 1: The Good, The Bad, The Open Questions

Katia Crosby at her kitchen table in Ellicott City
Credit Mary Rose Madden

This story is the first installment in a five-part series on mental health care. Click here for the entire series.

Millions of Americans who need mental health care don’t get it. And that creates a public health nightmare – for jails, homeless shelters, emergency rooms, and most importantly, for the individuals themselves. 

The Magic Pill, Part 1: The Good, The Bad, The Open Questions

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