The White House argued its case this week that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will improve mental health care access.

Cecilia Muñoz, a White House blogger, said the PPACA ban on medical underwriting will keep health plans from using mental illnesses as a reason to deny applications for coverage or charge people with those conditions higher rates.

An earlier law, the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act, already requires both individual and group health plans that offer both medical and mental health benefits to offer comparable medical and mental health benefits, and PPACA will expand access to mental health and substance abuse benefits, Muñoz wrote.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.