Advocates of cognitive behavioral therapy call this a fortuitous confluence of evidence and insurance interests.
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The situation might change now that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act has gone into effect, as of Jan. 1.
Passed as part of the federal stimulus package, the act requires that insurers provide mental health coverage that's no less restrictive than traditional medical coverage. In theory, the act should enable patients needing lengthier therapy to receive it. But skeptics point to several loopholes -- chiefly, that insurance companies are not required to cover mental health care at all.
The new law affects 113 million Americans whose states did not already have mental health parity provisions in place. California has followed a mental health parity law since 2000 and so will not be affected.