Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SILVA, Paulo Fagundes da and COSTA, Nilson do Rosário. Mental health and health insurance plans in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.12, pp. 4653-4664. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011001300014.
The article examines the regulatory regime of mental healthcare implemented by the National Health Agency (ANS). It describes the conditions observed between the provision of mental health services in the private healthcare sector in relation to the international experience and the Unified Health System (SUS). The article shows that the mental healthcare provision by the sector has the failings associated with the health insurance market. The health insurance companies have recourse to copayment mechanisms, set limits for outpatient use, emphasize short duration hospitalizations for the treatment of severe cases and residually offer support services to the patient after discharge. Since the decade of 2000 the expansion of the number of psychiatric hospitalizations that resulted in high rates of admission compared to the public sector has been observed in Brazil.
Keywords : Mental health; Health insurance; Prepaid health plans; Brazil; Psychiatric reform.