Study reveals lack of adequate mental health insurance benefits for medical students
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 16:00
Employee Health Benefits
Students in medical school are often under a lot of pressure due to heavy workloads, loan debt and concerns regarding getting a residency or job after graduation. As a result, they may have a significant need for mental health or substance abuse services.
However, researchers at the Cambridge Health Alliance conducted a study which reveals that healthcare benefits offered by schools are often inadequate or require students to pay high out-of-pocket costs for care.
"Given that medical students are often leery about seeking treatment in the first place, requiring students to pay huge co-payments or coinsurance for mental health or substance abuse treatment might foreclose obtaining needed psychiatric care," said senior author J. Wesley Boyd. "This is bad for the students and bad for patients."
The study revealed that fewer than 22 percent of the 115 schools examined provide complete coverage for students. Moreover, they found that co-payments were often as high as $20 to $25 per office visit, and coinsurance rates averaged about 20 percent.
Results of this study suggest that students in medical school may be in need of tools and resources for stress management
and healthy living, in addition to improved health insurance benefits.