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Medicaid Policy Options for Meeting the Needs of Adults with Mental Illness under the Affordable Care Act

This paper examines the salient issues raised in a November 2010 roundtable discussion of national and state experts convened by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, in partnership with the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, to discuss Medicaid policy options available under health reform to help meet the needs of adults with mental illness. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will expand the Medicaid program, offering the opportunity to improve access to care for millions of Americans with mental health disorders. States face several decisions about designing benefits, structuring service delivery and conducting outreach and enrollment for this population, which has unique health and social service needs. This report highlights key policy opportunities and challenges related to these decisions. The discussion was part of an ongoing series of Health Reform Roundtables that explore key issues related to implementing the expansion of Medicaid under health reform.

Issue Brief (.pdf)