Health Law May Strain Mental Health System

Beth Miller | USA Today | November 3, 2013

The Affordable Care Act will open doors for more patients to get treatment, but resources may not be there to meet the demand in states such as Delaware.

Tricia Hill gave up trying to get health insurance years ago.

The 39-year-old Newark resident spent two decades in the throes of a chronic mental health disorder, a condition that made it hard for her to hold a job and easy for insurance companies to reject her applications for coverage.

"It seemed like it was hopeless," said Hill, who declined to detail her condition.

So she relied on disability benefits.

That's about to change dramatically for Hill and thousands of other Delaware residents, as the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, makes it illegal for those with pre-existing conditions to be rejected for coverage — and mandates mental health care coverage starting in 2014.