While the U.S. continues to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, recent data underscores the significant toll the pandemic has taken on mental health for millions of Americans. According to a recent article by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), more than 15% of U.S. adults reported new or increased substance use due to pandemic-related stress. Three in 10 adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder in 2020, compared with one in 10 just a year prior. In the state of California, 32% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder in 2021, slightly ahead of the national average.
As the largest payer for mental health in the U.S., Medicaid plays a crucial role in helping patients access essential mental health and substance abuse services. KFF research found in 2020, Medicaid covered 23% of nonelderly adults with mental illness and 22% of nonelderly adults with substance use disorder, reinforcing the enormous role Medicaid plays to support patients in their treatment and recovery journey.
This year, Molina Healthcare of California, which serves approximately 584,000 members, launched a new partnership with WEconnect Health Management to support members struggling with substance abuse and mental health challenges. This important partnership enables in-network providers to leverage the WEconnect Recovery mobile app to help support their Molina members in their recovery. Across the nation, over 750,000 participants have accessed and participated in virtual recovery meetings through WeConnect’s services.
With the WEconnect app, members can receive personalized resources straight to their phone, such as daily reminders, access to online support groups, and the ability to track their rewards to stay active and engaged on their recovery journey. Through this innovative and collaborative partnership with WEconnect, Molina members in California also have access to exclusive peer support services they need for their unique path to recovery.
For more on how the Modern Medicaid Alliance supports mental health, check out our new Medicaid and Mental Health Toolkit.