Insurance Financing Increased For Mental Health Conditions But Not For Substance Use Disorders, 1986-2014
This study updates previous estimates of US spending on mental health and substance use disorders through 2014. The results reveal that the long-term trend of greater insurance financing of mental health care continued in recent years. The share of total mental health treatment expenditures financed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid increased from 44 percent in 1986 to 68 percent in 2014. In contrast, the share of spending for substance use disorder treatment financed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid was 45 percent in 1986 and 46 percent in 2014. From 2004 to 2013, a growing percentage of adults received mental health treatment (12.6 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively), albeit only because of the increased use of psychiatric medications. In the same period, only 1.2-1.3 percent of adults received substance use disorder treatment in inpatient, outpatient, or residential settings, although the use of medications to treat substance use disorders increased rapidly.
Yee, T., Levit, K. R., Camacho-Cook, J., Cutler, E., Carroll, C. D., & Mark, T. (2016). Insurance Financing Increased For Mental Health Conditions But Not For Substance Use Disorders, 1986-2014. Health Affairs, 35(6), 958-965. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2016.0002