Biden administration's 'historic' proposal for mental healthcare access: 7 things to know

The White House has released its 2024 proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Proposed Rule, with changes intended to make mental healthcare more accessible.

 HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra called the proposed updates made to improve, simplify and expand access to care for Medicare's 58.6 million beneficiaries "historic," according to a Dec. 12 news release from CMS.

Here is a summary of the proposed changes.


  1. The addition of substance use disorder treatment centers and mental healthcare facilities to community provider categories.


  1. Allowing providers at federally qualified health centers and family planning providers to elect to accept Medicare payments.


  1. Increasing the required number of covered providers needed for insurance providers to meet network adequacy standards.


  1. Updating standardized plan options and limiting on-standard options offered by qualified health plans accessible to Medicare beneficiaries to simplify the plan selection process.


  1. Eliminating coverage gaps by adding 30 days to the allowed special election period after the loss of Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Plan coverage, giving new beneficiaries 60 days before or 90 days after the loss of initial coverage to enroll in a plan and the option to move up the coverage effective date.


  1. Allowing professionals to operate door to door and the ability to assist beneficiaries when choosing a plan.


  1. Automatically enrolling eligible beneficiaries in lower-cost versions of their plan or selecting the version of their plan with the same cost but more benefits. 

"Continuing to propose policies that help make it easier for consumers to choose and maintain the health coverage that best fits their needs is vital," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in the release. "If finalized, this proposed rule does just that."

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