Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback5 pages Free

Uses data from the enormous UCLA/RAND managed care database to estimate costs, access, and intensity of mental health care under managed care carve-out plans with generous coverage; and simulate the consequences of removing coverage limits for mental health care as required by the 1996 Mental Health Parity Act. It shows that the assumptions used in 1996's policy debates overstated actual managed care costs by more than 300%. In the plans studied, despite increases in access (percentage of enrollees getting some care in a year), costs are much lower than were assumed, because of lower hospitalization rates and lower payments per service. Removing an annual limit of $25,000 would increase payments by only $1 per year, with children being the main beneficiaries of expanded benefits.

Originally published in: Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 278, no. 18, November 12, 1997, pp. 1533-1537.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.