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Mental Health Plan Benefit Information
A guide to public mental health services in King County

What is the Mental Health Plan? | What is managed care? | What are mental health services? | What do I do if I feel there is a mental health crisis? | Who is eligible for services? | What services are covered? | How do I get services? | Are translation services available? | Complaint and grievance services

What is the Mental Health Plan?

The Mental Health Plan, also sometimes referred to as Prepaid Health Plan, is the state-funded managed care system of mental health services and supports.

What is the King County Mental Health System?

King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse & Dependency Services (MHCADS) is a division of the Department of Community and Human Services. The MHCADS Division manages the mental health system in King County. It is responsible for policy setting, financial management and the quality of services, as well as the responsibility for authorizing and coordinating client care. Community mental health centers contract with MHCADSD to provide a wide variety of mental health treatment and residential services.

What is managed care?

Managed care is a system of care where access, quality of care and costs are carefully managed. Managed care within the King County Mental Health Plan provides:

  • An individualized assessment by a mental health professional to ensure a treatment plan that meets your needs
  • Opportunity for active participation by clients and families in treatment planning, selection goals
  • Culturally appropriate services
  • Service coordination with other agencies or systems as necessary
  • Timely access to services
  • Quality of care review.

What are mental health services?

Mental health has to do with how you feel about yourself, how you feel about others, and how you are able to get along in the community. Mental health services are designed to assist you to cope with life's challenges. Each person receives different services. Treatment may be very brief or may be long-term.

What do I do if I feel there is a mental health crisis?

The Crisis Clinic provides 24-hour telephone crisis response and referral services for all King County residents..

Anyone in a mental health crisis can call any time, day or night.

People at the Crisis Clinic listen to you when you call. They might make suggestions or offer a name or phone number of someone who can help you. They can also help you get an appointment the next day at a mental health center. Family members can call the Crisis Line, too.

Crisis Clinic
24-hour Crisis Line
(206) 461-3222
TDD (206) 461-3219

Who is eligible for services

The Mental Health Plan authorizes mental health care for people with Medicaid insurance. People without health insurance can also apply for services although resources are limited. Mental health centers will determine your eligibility and medical need for services. If you need care and have been told you are not eligible, you may call the MHP Client Services Coordinator at 1-800-790-8049 for help.

What services are covered?

Community mental health centers provide a range of services. Some centers subcontract with other agencies to offer a wider variety of programs. Depending on individual need, the health plan offers:

  • Individual or group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Case management
  • Medication management
  • Emergency/crisis assistance
  • Residential care
  • Vocational/ school-based services

Some agencies also provide specialized services such as:

  • Services to deaf/hearing impaired
  • Services to ethnic/cultural minorities
  • Children's services
  • Outreach to homeless persons
  • Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment

Psychiatric hospitalization at local hospitals is also covered by the plan.

Covered services are provided at no cost to Medicaid clients. In addition, Medicaid clients are not responsible to pay for covered services if their provider or the Mental Health Plan is not paid for providing the services, nor are Medicaid clients responsible to pay for the debts of these entities if the provider or Mental Health Plan is unable to pay its own debts.

How do I get services?

Call one of the community mental health centers listed on line or call MHP Client Services at 1-800-790-8049 for help with finding the mental health center closest to you.

In most cases, the mental health center will give you an appointment to come in and meet with an intake specialist or case manager to assess your eligibility and medical need for care. This meeting is confidential.

If you qualify for services you will receive an individualized treatment plan as part of the assessment. Clients and their family members are encouraged to participate in treatment planning and goal setting.

Are Translation Services Available?

Language translation services are available upon request at no charge to the client. The Crisis Clinic, Crisis and Commitment Services, and referral and advocacy services also have access to translation services. If you need an interpreter, please ask.

                Respect for cultural differences is a value of the King County Mental Health Plan.

Need help?

The MHP Client Services Coordinator can help you with questions and referrals to services.

TDD: 206-205-0569

What if I have a problem?

All community mental health centers are required to inform clients of their rights and to post complaint and grievance procedures.

You have two options for assistance, available to you at no charge:

  • MHP Client Services
    Available to answer questions and respond to concerns about mental health services.
  • Mental Health Ombuds Service of King County 
    An independent agency staffed by former or current clients or family members available to listen, inform you of your rights and help resolve problems.
    The Ombuds Service is available to help you with all grievance procedures including, if necessary, preparation for the State Fair Hearing process.

            Complaint and grievance services are completely confidential.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583