Mental Health Systems takes a proactive approach in communicating to the community about mental health issues, services and successes. Follow along with us as we promote healthy community practices through print, broadcast and social media. Please let us know if you see an item that would be of interest to others in the MHS community. Submit it here.

The first of this month marked the beginning of the Health Care Reform’s extensive six-month-long open Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment and public education campaign. A new, easier way to purchase health insurance, enrollment through the Marketplace will extend through the end of March.

Mental Health Systems (MHS) is pleased to announce that longtime Fresno community member and nonprofit veteran Laura Whitehouse has been named the agency’s Vice President of Community Partnerships in the Central Valley Region.

Most existing health insurance will change to cover the ten essential health benefits (EHB – See link).  In addition, about 2 million Californians who were previously unable to obtain insurance now can do so through Covered California.  This includes individuals with pre-existing conditions and low income (between 138% and 400% of Federal Poverty Level [FPL]) who will receive subsidies through the IRS.  Finally, California has chosen to provide full EHB coverage to individuals with incomes

San Diego County Medical Society has honored Mental Health Systems’ (MHS) Medical Director, Dr. Anthony Jensen, as one of San Diego’s “2013 Top Doctors”.  Dr. Jensen was selected as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence in the fields of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

This issue’s big news is there will be full parity in Medi-Cal for substance use and mental health services.  The state will fund these using state/federal funds.  Specialty mental health services will be provided by counties using MHSA and 1991 realignment funds, plus $206 million will be provided for infrastructure enhancements at the behest of Senator Steinberg.