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Am J Psychiatry. 1985 Feb;142(2):181-6.

Reductions in coverage for mental and nervous illness in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, 1980-1984.


After nearly 15 years of nondiscriminatory coverage, the largest plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program cut its coverage of care for mental illness disproportionately to coverage for other health care in 1981 and 1982. "Catastrophic" coverage for inpatient mental illness care was introduced by many of the plans in 1984. The authors review the reductions in coverage from economic and clinical perspectives, highlighting the impact of the disparity between the coverage for mental illness and other medical conditions. The model of catastrophic protection for treatment of mental illness set forth in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program does not bode well for the patient and family who must cope with such a financial contingency.

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