The National Alliance on Mental Health says that one in five adults experience mental illness which is 19.1% of the country’s population. With so many people tackling mental illness, that means more people need to spend money on mental health treatment to feel better. Healthcare needs to provide more coverage for mental health so that it can be affordable to receive help when you need it.

The Start of Arline Feilen’s Mental Health Problems

Arline Feilen has dealt was a lot of loss in the past six years losing her husband to suicide, her dad from cancer, and her elderly mother. This caused Feilen to drink eight or nine light beers in several hours to self-medicate her pain. She would text her sister and her friends her worries about self-harming. Feilen’s friend called 911 and an ambulance took her to Northwestern Medicine Central Dupage Hospital. 

Arline Feilen’s Hospital Stay

Feilen spent five nights in the hospital. First, she was in the emergency room and then moved to an residential psychiatric unit. Feilen went through a number of tests like bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound, and an electrocardium. She got group counseling and was on the antidepressant Remeron. When she got home, she felt better in that she stopped drinking beer, kept taking her medication, and continued counseling. Everything was going great until her hospital bill came in.

Mental Health Financial Problem

Feilen’s total bill was $29,894.50 as well as $16,480 for the room and board in the semiprivate psychiatric room and $3,999 for the ER. After the hospital reduced the bill for her health insurance not covering it, she owed $21,634.55. Feilen’s health plan was purchased through the Affiliated Workers Association that does not cover mental health and substance abuse treatment coverage. This type of insurance is normally bought for the short-term in order to get the physical health coverage benefits. Hospitals usually charge uninsured people much more than people with insurance. A 2017 report from the Health Care Cost Institute said that those insured for mental health coverage are charged $9,293 for a week’s stay. 

What Needs to Be Done

When Feilen was buying insurance years ago, she would look on and see subsidies for low-income or middle-class families but would get confused and give up. Feilen says if she could go back in time, she would have bought health insurance that would cover mental health just in case you need it.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alta Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alta Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.