The Bowen Center joins Indiana’s other Community Mental Health Centers in applauding this week’s announcement from Gov. Mike Pence related to his plan to cover uninsured Hoosiers. Under the proposed plan, uninsured individuals with serious mental illness will have improved access to comprehensive behavioral health services.
Based on estimates, 21,000 of the approximately 350,000 newly Medicaid eligible Hoosiers have severe and persistent mental illness. By including Medicaid rehabilitation services for this medically frail population, thousands of previously uninsured Hoosiers will be able to gain access to behavioral health services for areas such as; crisis intervention, case management, living skills and medication management.
Kurt Carlson, CEO of the Bowen Center, a Community Mental Health Center serving 10 Northeastern counties in Indiana was quite pleased with this news. “Any time even one more person is eligible for improved access to mental and physical health services is great … but we are talking an anticipated 21,000 more people having these services more readily available for them in our state … that is a milestone marker and a great healthy leap that will impact all of our communities … this is tremendous news for many in need,” Carlson said.
The inclusion of Medicaid Rehabilitation services under the Healthy Indiana Plan exceeds the essential health benefits as required under the Affordable Care Act and provides for more comprehensive services for individuals with serious mental illness. In addition, the plan includes access to critically needed substance abuse services under the Healthy Indiana Plan for thousands of Hoosiers suffering from substance abuse disorders. By including substance abuse as a covered service under the Healthy Indiana Plan, individuals seeking treatment, who previously were uninsured, now have access to treatment, something that has historically not been covered under traditional Medicaid programs.
Founded in 1961, the Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services Inc., is a private not-for-profit, comprehensive community mental health center, serving the Indiana counties of Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, Wabash and Whitley and is licensed by the state of Indiana Division of Mental Health.