Here's What To Do If You Have Depression And Lose Your Insurance Under The GOP Bill

by Imani Brammer

Want to know what's f*cking tragic?

You can live with an illness in this world, and not even have the protection of your supposed governing body to help you carry on with your daily responsibilities in good health.

By now, you've probably heard of the doomsday health care bill proposed by the GOP, which is slated to leave 22 million Americans without health insurance by 2026, and cut Medicaid funding -- which provides health care to many low-come individuals in this country -- to the awful tune of $772 billion.

The bill would also prove to be a nightmare for anyone with a pre-existing condition -- which includes people being treated for depression.

While the GOP bill isn't a reality for America just yet, there's still a reasonable cause for concern.

Without health insurance, Americans would have to pay out of pocket for nearly every medical cost -- which, as I'm sure you know, adds up pretty damn quickly.

If you're an individual with depression who's at risk of being uninsured, and your life literally cannot afford such a travesty, there are still alternative routes to handle your circumstances with care.

Elite Daily spoke with a couple of experts on the matter, who weighed in on how this change in health care could affect individuals dealing with depression, what health care looks like now under the Affordable Care Act, and what it has the potential to look like under the new GOP bill.

According to Cortland M. Mathers-Suter, CEO of AspenRidge Recovery, a mental health and substance abuse treatment program in Colorado, the GOP bill is slated to absolutely uproot any form of insured health support, at least as it currently stands:

The bill takes out the essential benefits covered in the Affordable Care Act, one of which is mental health coverage. So those suffering from depression will have to pay higher premiums for health coverage that then will not cover treatment for depression. Presently, the Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions and mental health problems from paying higher premiums due to their disorders, while simultaneously ensuring coverage for mental health treatment. That all changes under the GOP bill.

This means that people suffering from depression would literally have to budget for the sake of their mental well-being.

And, well, if you ask me, that's absolutely f*cking deplorable.

Mathers-Suter continues,

Without insurance, you're looking at very high prices for cash-pay therapy, public clinics, veterans affairs for those who qualify, or in some cases, sliding-scale therapy. Private practice therapists in Colorado, for example, generally charge north of $100 an hour, making this option out of reach for many.

For those considering scaled payments, here's how it works.

Basically, you speak with your therapist and come to an agreement on what you are able to afford in an individually tailored way.

In the event that your financial situation changes as you go through the course of your therapy (like, say, if you lose your job), then you and your therapist can come to another mutual agreement, which is documented on paper.

If you do end up losing your insurance altogether, here are some of your alternative options for treating depression.

Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Carol Lieberman, MD, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author, who says, while you should always seek a professional to evaluate how serious your depression really is, there are other powerful ways to handle your situation without insurance.

In addition to finding therapists or clinics with sliding-scale payment options, she says self-help books, as well as local support groups, can offer uninsured individuals some assistance as they work through their depression.

Mental health hotlines are always available, too, which includes suicide hotlines, or even phone numbers to call if you're suffering from domestic violence and abuse.

Many of them run 24 hours, seven days a week, so that help is available to you literally whenever you need it.

Should the GOP bill pass through the Senate, yes, it will be a nightmare for the overall status of health care in America.

But you should never, ever lose hope. There are always ways to find help, regardless of how much money you have or what your health care offers you.

Please do not be afraid to search for free clinics, therapists who offer scaled payments, or to call up those hotlines. Everyone deserves to live, and not only that -- everyone deserves to live their lives to the absolute fullest.

If you or someone you know is in trouble or having suicidal thoughts, call 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.