DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority Votes to Ease Access to Services for Children

WASHINGTON INFORMER: The DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority’s executive board unanimously voted to adopt recommendations based on the work of the authority’s standard plans working group to deal with health disparities in pediatric mental health treatment.

Starting in Plan Year 2024, children covered by a standard plan on DC Health Link will only have a $5 copay, with no deductibles, for outpatient mental health visits. That includes specialist appointments and an unlimited number of visits.

This vote also lowers prescription copays for child mental health care to $5, with no deductibles. The action by the board means parents who had copays as high as $45 for their children’s mental health visits will only pay only $5 starting in 2024.

Additionally, parents who were paying as much as $25 in copays for even the lowest-cost generic prescriptions for their children, will only have a $5 copay starting in 2024.

“Study after study shows that children of color are less likely to receive mental health services they need,” said Diane C. Lewis, chair of the health exchange’s executive board and chair of the exchange social justice and health disparities working group. “We know we have to reach these children early to make the greatest impact on their health and well-being, which is why advancing equity is crucial in the District of Columbia.”

Photo: Washington Informer

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