Does Health Insurance Cover Substance Abuse?

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Although over 22 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, less than 2.5 million ever get that treatment.

There are barriers to getting treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. For many people, the problem lies in finding an affordable rehab.

For those people, there is health insurance that covers substance abuse. And there are other options available in the case you don’t have insurance.

Keep reading to learn more about how to access treatment with or without insurance when you can’t find an affordable rehab.

Is There Health Insurance That Covers Substance Abuse?

If you have health insurance, you might be covered for substance abuse treatment. This is usually the case because substance abuse and addiction are considered medical diseases. As such, they’re treated like any other chronic condition would be under your insurance policy.

Your specific insurance policy will determine how you’re covered and what you’re covered for. Most insurance companies cover at least some of the expenses of treatment. But you’ll need to consult your unique policy for details such as what kind of treatment your plan covers, how long you’re covered for, and how much of the cost you’re responsible for.

The following are the three types of health insurance that cover substance abuse.

Public Insurance

Public insurance is available through the federal Medicare or Medicaid programs. This form of insurance coverage is reserved for people who are underinsured or uninsured. If you qualify for coverage under either of these programs, you may be covered for substance use disorder treatment.

Check the policy to see what services are covered. These usually fall under mental health treatment services.

Some facilities won’t accept payment from Medicare or Medicaid. But there are facilities that are partially or entirely subsidized by the federal government.

At these treatment centers, you should be able to cover full or partial payment through your public insurance plan. Before enrolling, ensure that the treatment center accepts public insurance.

Private Insurance

A private insurance plan can be an employee insurance plan, insurance purchased as an individual from a private insurance company, or any insurance that isn’t subsidized by the federal government.

Private insurance plans are now required to treat mental health and substance use like any other chronic condition. Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, if the plan has coverage for mental health, that coverage has to have similar costs to other treatments on your plan. However, insurance companies aren’t required to have mental health coverage, so check your plan to make sure.

Private insurance costs more money than a public insurance plan. But with higher costs comes a wider range of options in terms of treatment types, facilities, and duration.

Group Insurance

Group insurance is health insurance that’s provided to a group. This most commonly refers to the health insurance provided through employer benefits packages.

Some people find it difficult to use group insurance to get treatment for addiction. They fear that their employer may find out, and this can cause shame or loss of a job.

However, thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, your employee insurance must treat substance abuse like any mental health condition. Meaning that you’re entitled to treatment at a similar cost and without consequences to your position.

Affordable Rehab Without Insurance

For those who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, don’t have group benefits, and can’t afford private insurance, there are still ways to find treatment. We’ve outlined some of these in more detail below.

Government Programs

The first place you should check is online, through the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). On their website, you can search for facilities in your area. More specifically, you can filter the results to your specific requirements, which includes your ability to pay.

There are special programs available to people in certain groups. People in the following categories might qualify for expedited and affordable rehab treatment:

  • Minors under the age of 18
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Homeless people
  • People with severe medical conditions

In addition, many states have their own drug and alcohol programs that help underinsured or uninsured people with little or no income. Through these programs, you may be able to secure funding for a treatment center. To qualify, you usually have to be a resident of the state and the US and lack both income and insurance.

Faith-Based Groups

Both the Chrisitan Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Harbor Light detox and rehabilitation are located throughout the country. These and other faith-based organization offer residential affordable rehab based on the traditions of their faith.

Your Employer

Your employer isn’t required to help you pay for substance abuse treatment. But they may be willing to help. That help might come in the form of helping you pay for the treatment or, at the very least, giving you an extended leave while you attend treatment.

But check your employee handbook and talk to your HR department. You may be surprised at what your employer has provided in your group benefits.

The Treatment Facility

You can also talk to the treatment facility you’re interested in to see if they offer any scholarship programs. These programs connect the people who need help with donors who provide funds to support them.

The treatment center may also have other financial assistance that you can take advantage of and make your stay more affordable. In some cases, even a payment plan can help you get into treatment faster than you otherwise would.

Get The Treatment You Need

There is health insurance that covers substance abuse. Public, private, and group plans typically have provisions for addiction treatment because addiction is a medical condition. Federal law states that insurance companies must, therefore, treat addiction like any other medical condition covered under their policy.

Contact us today to find out how we can help get you the treatment you need.