People with depression and bipolar disorder will have an opportunity to learn what they can and can't expect their health insurance to cover during a presentation in Severna Park this week.

James Koch, a Baltimore lawyer and volunteer for the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA), says it's important for people to know what their health insurance will cover before they seek mental health services, because people who are depressed usually don't have the energy to battle insurance companies and HMOs.

Koch says government employees and people covered by Medicare and Medicaid need to be aware of coverage restrictions such as maximum lifetime limits on the number of days in in-patient care. Those who have health insurance through employers will be able to get information about the federal regulations that govern their health plans. The presentation also offers information on what consumers can do if they believe they have been wrongfully denied coverage.

Health Insurance Coverage and Mental Illness, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Rd., Severna Park. To learn more, call DRADA at 410-955-4647.

-- Diane Knich

Depression leaves little extra energy for battling health insurers.