ARLINGTON, Va. (WNEW) — One of the nation’s biggest mental health advocacy groups charges many insurance companies are ignoring a law that requires mental illness be covered like any other.

When Congress passed the law in 2008, it was supposed to be a game changer for mental health care. But a new report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness finds for many, a struggle remains.

NAMI Director of Policy and Legal Affairs Ron Honberg says often insurers give no reason for denying a claim — leaving people with mental illness to navigate a confusing appeals process.

The report finds fewer requests for mental health care are denied on plans purchased through public exchanges.

Honberg says expenses for some low-income patients exceed $10,000.

WNEW’s Chuck Carroll contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.