Trump Administration Exploring Mental Health Coverage Changes

Trump administration weighs mental health coverage option – ABC News, 2018/02/27

Amid the outcry over the Florida school shootings, the Trump administration says it is “actively exploring” ways to help states expand inpatient mental health treatment using Medicaid funds.


Organizations representing state officials and people with mental illness say no one wants to go back to warehousing patients. But they also say that federal action is needed to reverse a decades-old law known as the “IMD exclusion,” which bars Medicaid from paying for treatment in mental health facilities with more than 16 beds. IMD stands for “institution for mental diseases.”


Last year a government advisory panel recommended repealing Medicaid’s IMD exclusion, and the idea has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. But the cost of full repeal has been estimated at $40 billion to $60 billion over 10 years, daunting for lawmakers. State waivers may provide a more manageable path.

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