In the state of Utah, newly signed bills require health insurance companies to cover mental health telehealth services and create more accessibility for individuals seeking help.
One of the bills recently signed by Governor Spencer Cox, requires insurance companies to cover mental health therapy sessions using telehealth services like any other doctor’s visit. This bill is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for increased accessibility to mental health services. One intention behind this law is to standardize the practice and normalize telehealth as a tool in receiving mental health treatment.
Another bill, developed a new mental health crisis hotline. Individuals that are experiencing a crisis can dial 988 and will be connected with a social worker or licensed clinicians that are trained in addressing suicide and other crises.
What if an individual is not experiencing a crisis, but still needs help and support? This hotline has an additional feature; the individual will be transferred to a warm line and receive help in finding therapists on their insurance plan, nonprofits that serve their need, or if applicable, help in qualifying for Medicaid.
The 988 hotline is expected to be fully implemented by 2022.
Other important resources worth sharing:
· National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
· Chatline & Resources: Suicidepreventionlifeline.org
What are some barriers that impact mental health accessibility?