Upcoming Changes in Mental Health

Quick Disclaimer: This post includes some speculation on my part. Anything prefaced with “My guess,” “I predict,” “I think,” or similar statements are my own projection based on what I have observed. I previously predicted that I would only work from home for “two weeks, maybe a month tops,” in April 2020 so take my input with the appropriate amount of salt.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Good morning internet! I apologize that this blog has been quieter than usual lately. I just submitted final edits for the two manuscripts I’ve been working on over the past year, and I have been exhausted on the writing front. I have also been working on my application to be an APA-approved CE sponsor, which has taken up a significant amount of my time. Don’t worry, I am still here dolling out important information, just at a slower rate.

On May 11, 2023, the federal state of emergency is set to end. We are still learning exactly what this means on many different fronts, but we know that it removes many protections that have been in place over the past three years.

First, the state of emergency maintained Medicaid coverage for many who might have otherwise stopped qualifying during that time. I cannot stress this enough: if you have Medicaid, please check your coverage to see what your options or next steps are.

According to the webinar I viewed to learn more about this, you should receive communication if you might lose coverage, but if you aren’t sure, please check.

As a South Dakota Medicaid provider, I’m increasing my consultation rate. If any of my clients see an interruption in their coverage, charging more for consultations will allow me to open up more pro-bono spots in my therapy caseload so that my clients’ care isn’t interrupted and I can still pay my bills. Not everyone has the option to just add pro bono slots, though – look into it now to make any upcoming transitions as smooth as possible.

Second, this might mean that private insurance companies will try to push back on telehealth coverage. I hope the huge burst of research showing how safe, effective, and helpful telehealth is for people’s access to care means that we will not see any big changes here, but of course this is not within my control. However, since certain big telehealth companies have been accepting insurance over the past few years, I predict that those companies will push back on any changes in coverage. Insurance companies versus telehealth giants battling it out in court would be like Godzilla Versus Kong. I hope they destroy each other.

Medicare and Medicaid have different requirements in place that look like they will keep allowing telehealth coverage at least through 2024. I will of course keep my ear to the ground on this and watch closely for any changes.

Third, there will be some changes to telemedicine as far as medical visits and prescriptions. Ask your doctor about how these changes might impact you.

Finally, the state of emergency ending likely means that student loan deferrals will also end. Recently many saw changes in their loan service provider, and I have heard from colleagues that the transition has been rocky at best. Many were told they lost their qualifying payments towards forgiveness and have to start over, and now payments and interest might come back on top of that.

A lot of this depends on how the Supreme Court handles the cancellation plan. Keep an eye out, stay informed, and know your options.

Personally, I’m ready to live through a boring chapter of history. I’ve had enough interesting times.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.