States that decide not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will leave more than 3.7 million Americans with mental illness without health-care coverage, according to a new report from an organization that represents mental health professionals.
Almost one in five Americans between the ages of 18-34 who live without health insurance and make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level suffer from serious psychological distress, the report by the American Mental Health Counselors Association says. In states that opt to expand Medicaid under the ACA, those people would be eligible for coverage that includes mental health treatment.
But 25 states have not expanded Medicaid yet, meaning those residents with mental illness won’t be eligible for coverage. The problem is most acute in Florida and Texas, both home to more than half a million uninsured adults with serious mental health and substance use conditions.