Blogs
April 24, 2023

The Ohio Mental Health Insurance Assistance Office Connects Ohioans to Behavioral Health Help

Judith L. French, Director, Ohio Department of Insurance

The mental wellness of Ohioans is a major priority for Governor DeWine and for us at the Department of Insurance.

The governor has said that “we are ridding Ohio of the stigma that comes with addiction and mental illness — and we will transform Ohio into the best state in the nation for mental health treatment, research, and mental health prevention.”

Transformative traction is indeed underway. The Ohio General Assembly appropriated millions of dollars to support the governor’s mental health initiatives.

And just hours into his second term, Governor DeWine signed an executive order officially establishing the Ohio Mental Health Insurance Assistance Office (MHIA) within the Department of Insurance to help Ohioans identify and utilize their mental health insurance benefits. Insurance is the main gateway to receiving care.

Employees of the Department of Insurance and the new MHIA office, which began its work last summer, protect consumers through education and vigilant regulation of insurers’ compliance with insurance requirements.

MHIA helps individuals, families, employers, mental health advocates, healthcare and behavioral health professionals and many other stakeholders understand how to identify the mental health benefits that may be in a person’s health insurance plan and how to access those benefits to receive care.

Whether someone has health insurance through an employer or a government program, purchased it directly through an insurance agent or is uninsured, MHIA staff can help. Employees also coordinate inquiries with other regulatory agencies for health insurance that is not regulated by the Department of Insurance.

An information-and-services hub on our website at insurance.ohio.gov/getmhia has become a popular resource. MHIA employees conduct educational outreach and are available at 855-GET-MHIA (855-438-6442) and getmhia@insurance.ohio.gov to answer mental health insurance questions.

We are proud to be part of this important work on the issue of mental health insurance, and we are excited for even more transformative outcomes ahead.