Health reform in America will lead to major changes in medical care in the USA, with opportunities for improved access to care, especially for psychiatric patients. Combined with recently enacted ‘parity’ legislation, health reform will expand public and private insurance coverage to an additional 33 million Americans, leading to increased pressure on the psychiatrists who are willing to practise with the insured population and on opportunities for subspecialisation within the field. Some essential non-medical tasks will not be funded by insurance, and these must be given due consideration. A major emphasis of health reform is to integrate general health and mental health services. The reform will have an impact on the use of the hospital and emergency room as well. A major concern is the cost of care and how it will be controlled.