Drug addiction has become a major problem in the United States. Making the decision to seek addiction treatment is a big step and one that can be difficult to make on your own. Some of the biggest questions you may have are whether or not addiction treatment is covered by health insurance and how to choose addiction treatment insurance.
The good news is that most health insurance providers have drug rehab coverage. However, it is important to understand what is covered by your insurance company and how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket. In this blog post, we will discuss how to choose addiction treatment insurance and what you can expect from different insurance providers.
What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab Insurance?
Many people struggle with drug and alcohol addiction due to a lack of support in obtaining essential health benefits. Drug and alcohol rehab is costly and can deter many from seeking out rehabilitation programs for their addictions.
Is addiction treatment covered by insurance? The good news is that many insurance plans cover drug or alcohol addiction to help people recover from their substance abuse issues. Many rehab facilities accept insurance to assist in substance abuse rehab.
Drug and alcohol rehab insurance is a type of substance abuse treatment coverage that helps addicts pay for treatment. This type of insurance is designed to help cover the costs of detoxification, inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services. It can also help cover the cost of medications used in treatment.
Insurance policies differ for each individual. Some policies will cover the full extent of alcohol and drug addiction treatment but others may not. It is important to understand your health insurance plan and its coverage to seek the best treatment available for you.
Cost of Rehab vs. Cost of Addiction
Many people tend to avoid substance abuse treatment centers because of the costs. Is drug addiction treatment in rehab worth its cost? Yes, it is! In reality, the cost of addiction is much higher than the cost of rehab.
Addiction does not only affect a person’s financial status; it can also affect society’s crime and unemployment rates. Although rehab may be costly, the long-term benefits of completing a treatment program can help former addicts save on costs and get back on their feet. Here are some numbers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to help you get a better understanding of the costs.
Cost of Addiction
According to data from the NIDA, the cost of addiction in the United States was over $740 billion in 2020. This staggering number includes the costs of drug and alcohol addiction, nicotine addiction, and the associated costs of substance abuse treatment.
Further data from the NIDA shows the estimated costs of addiction per substance. Addiction to illicit drugs was estimated to cost up to $193 billion including health care expenses, while addiction to prescription opioids and medications reached more than $78 billion.
Addiction to alcohol cost the US almost $250 billion, with binge drinking the main culprit – accounting for more than $190 billion of the total amount. Tobacco or nicotine addiction accounted for an estimated $300 billion.
More than the financial numbers, addiction affects employment and productivity. Higher crime rates, domestic abuse cases, and homelessness are also attributed to the substance abuse and opioid addiction problem in the country. The increase in financial costs of addiction also increased the expenses for medical care and legal services.
Cost of Rehab
In comparison, the rehab cost will vary depending on the treatment facility and the type of treatment. There are government-sponsored treatment facilities that can offer services for free or at a low cost. There are also private luxury rehab centers that can cost more than a thousand dollars per treatment. However, these high-end facilities are proven to encourage a successful long-term recovery.
The cost of rehab will also be based on the type of treatment that a person needs. Detoxification and outpatient rehab generally costs less than inpatient treatment and specialized mental health services. Luckily, most addicts seeking treatment will be able to find a treatment facility for them based on their insurance plan.
Detoxification can cost more than $1,000, depending on the severity of the addiction. Outpatient rehab, the recommended treatment program for moderate addiction, can cost up to $10,000 in private facilities.
Inpatient or residential treatment for 30 days can range from less than $10,000 to more than $50,000. The costs are significantly higher because inpatient treatment usually includes the whole treatment program – detoxification, rehabilitation, mental health services, and in some facilities, holistic activities.
Medication-assisted treatment is administered based on the severity of the patient’s substance abuse issues. While some patients suffer from substance use disorders that require them to take medications, other patients can be treated without medication at all. To give you an idea of the cost, opioid addiction is usually treated with methadone which can cost almost $5,000 a year.
Different Types of Addiction Treatment Insurance
In order to decide on the health insurance best for you, here are the different options that you have. For addicts seeking addiction treatment, finding the best insurance coverage is key to beginning the road to recovery.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known as Obamacare, was introduced to improve healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. Contrary to popular belief, the ACA does not provide free healthcare. Instead, it widens access to healthcare by obligating insurance companies to provide coverage for everyone, even without a medical condition.
The Affordable Care Act includes substance abuse treatment as an essential health benefit for any health insurance. It also means every health care provider has an obligation to provide mental health care services to patients. Private treatment centers are covered by the ACA, requiring them to provide drug rehab and mental illness treatment to people suffering from substance use disorders.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is private health insurance that is usually offered through employers. It is also available to purchase on the individual market. BCBS is one of the largest health insurers in the country.
The main advantage of BCBS is that it offers comprehensive coverage. This means that it covers most mental health services, including addiction treatment. In addition, BCBS is one of the few insurers that cover inpatient drug rehab.
H4 – Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO and PPO Plans
Blue Cross Blue Shield provides both HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) insurance plans. An HMO plan allows you to choose an HMO physician who may refer you to other healthcare organizations, hospitals, or specialty clinics within your network, as needed. HMOs usually cost less per month and also have higher deductibles.
On the other hand, a PPO plan doesn’t require network connections. With a PPO from Blue Cross Blue Shield, you can directly contact any physician or specialist. PPO plans usually cost a higher premium.
Aside from HMO and PPO plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield also offers health savings accounts (HSAs). These HSAs are intended to help people accumulate savings on health costs.
H4-Blue Cross Blue Shield Coverage for Addiction Treatment
Drug rehabilitation benefits provided through a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan vary based on many factors. These factors are dependent upon where you reside, what kind of insurance plan you have, and the specific need for treatment.
Usually, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans cover detoxification from opiates or alcohol. Medications are also covered such as methadone for heroin addiction and benzodiazepine for mental health treatment. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s health insurance coverage also includes counseling for families, groups, and individuals to assist them in their addiction recovery.
H4 -What rehab centers accept Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance?
Various rehab centers throughout the nation offer treatment programs for individuals seeking addiction treatment. Several American Addiction Centers facilities accept Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance in order to help people suffering from substance addiction.
It is important to check which rehab center will accept your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan. The BCBS has a directory to find information on facilities for substance addiction treatment. Many addiction treatment centers accept BCBS for their programs.
Considerations in Choosing Health Insurance
There are several insurance providers and it may be difficult to know how to choose addiction treatment insurance right for you. Here are a few questions that you can ask insurance providers about the insurance coverage available for each plan.
How much treatment will insurance cover?
The first thing to consider when choosing an insurance provider is what type of insurance plans they offer. Policies purchased through a health insurance marketplace may have restrictions. Although most providers offer insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment, it is important to ask the insurance company about their specific policies and what is covered.
What type of rehabilitation programs are covered?
When deciding how to choose addiction treatment insurance, you must consider what type of drug rehab programs are covered. Rehab centers accept most health insurance policies if the treatment is included in the policy. While most health insurance plans provide coverage for medical detox programs, some restrictions may apply. Insurance plans may not include specific programs, mainly non-medical or holistic treatments. On the bright side, most health insurance plans cover some form of drug or alcohol rehab.
Is private rehab covered by health insurance?
A private rehab center can be covered by insurance. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as one of the ten basic health benefits. This definition requires private insurance companies on health insurance marketplaces to pay for the treatment program. The insurer must provide certain basic care services including mental health treatment and drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Are treatment medications covered?
Maintenance programs in an aftercare program are intended to help patients who are ill or have not been through a drug treatment program. Chemical changes caused by drug use can be very dangerous to these patients and it is necessary to prescribe medication that corrects these imbalances to have a healthy life. Maintenance therapies help some patients recover from addictions many years after the first rehab and in many instances.
What mental health issues are covered by insurance?
The Affordable Care Act does not stop addiction. The goal is to ensure that insurance companies provide the necessary substance abuse rehabilitation programs that have drug addiction coverage, alcohol abuse treatment, treatment of mental health disorders, and medical care.
The ACA emphasizes a plan for mental health treatment as much as for physical health. This means that insurance plans must cover mental health treatments at the same (or similar) cost as physical treatment.
Deciding on an Addiction Treatment Insurance
When you are ready to seek addiction treatment, the first step is to contact your health insurance provider. You will want to ask about their coverage for substance abuse treatment and what is included in your policy.
It is also important to understand the difference between inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient care is when you stay at a drug rehab center for a period of time, usually 30 days or more. Outpatient care is when you visit a drug rehab center for a few hours each week but do not stay overnight.
Inpatient care is generally more expensive than outpatient care, but it is also more intensive. If you have a serious addiction, inpatient care may be the best option for you. Note that there are private and luxurious treatment centers you can go to if you don’t want to ever feel like you are in a rehab. The best part is, there are insurance policies that you can avail that will cover that kind of service and facility. After all, the comfort and state of mind of the patient is an essential factor in rehab treatment. However, if your addiction is not as severe, outpatient care may be a better option.
Once you understand your insurance coverage, you can begin to look for drug and alcohol rehab centers that accept your insurance. It is important to find a treatment center that is right for you and that you feel comfortable with.
Individuals in need of substance abuse treatment can get the help they need with the help of health insurance. Many addicts often wonder how to choose addiction treatment insurance that provides comprehensive insurance coverage from drug and alcohol rehab to mental health therapy and aftercare services. There are many insurance provider options available for patients seeking treatment; what’s important is finding the best health insurance plan to begin the road to recovery.