Addressing Barriers to Behavioral Health Coverage for Low-Income Youth

The National Law Program published this flip chart which contains various scenarios and barriers that low-income youth with behavioral health conditions might face when trying to access services, and includes suggested steps an advocate could take to work through those barriers.

The National Health Law Program
- Medicaid is the country’s most inclusive health care program, providing high quality, affordable coverage to more than 75 million low-income individuals. Approximately 38% of all children are covered by Medicaid. 
- Medicaid plays an outsized role in
funding behavioral health services – it is the single largest payer for mental health and substance use disorder services. 
- In exchange for federal funding, states must meet a number of requirements governing who is eligible, what health care must be
provided, and protections for enrollees. 
- One of these Medicaid requirements is Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment
(EPSDT) – a benefit that entitles low-income children under age twenty one to a myriad of medically necessary behavioral health services.
Because of the EPSDT benefit, children in Medicaid are often entitled to an array of community-based behavioral health interventions that children enrolled in private insurance are not.

NOTE: This is not your average issue brief or report. It enables you to flow through scenarios and barriers for action and access!