Study finds uneven Medicaid coverage for children's key mental health services in many states

A national study by researchers at the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health--- shows an uneven picture of states' use of Medicaid to help families with young children gain access to mental health services.

A large number- as many as 46 states-- use Medicaid to cover several important mental health services for low-income young children, including screening for social-emotional problems and mental health treatment in home, community and pediatric settings. But other key services were covered by far fewer states. Findings from NCCP's latest brief, "Using Medicaid to Help Young Children and Parents Access Mental Health Services," are published online here.

Only 12 states provide Medicaid coverage for parenting programs that address young children's mental health needs, while 9 states pay for maternal depression screening under the child's Medicaid during a well-child visit.

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