Study: Missourians’ health plans lack access to mental health care

A new survey reported Missourians are less likely to find mental health services in their insurance network than they are to find primary care or specialist services.

Mental health therapists and substance abuse counselors in Missouri are three times more likely to be out of network compared to other medical specialists, according to the study released by the Missouri Federation of Behavioral Advocates.

The organization says the situation increases difficulties faced by those with mental health needs.

According to the report, 14.6 percent of behavioral health visits were outside insurance networks, compared to 2.9 percent for primary care and 4.2 percent for medical specialty visits. An out-of-network provider could mean considerably higher costs for patients.

The report voiced support for a bill in the Missouri House that seeks to reduce barriers to mental health services.

Read more: KOMU

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