Last Updated on November 24, 2023 by Asfa Rasheed
An unfortunate reality of substance abuse disorders is that many of those who seek treatment can’t receive it due to the expense. Many victims of substance abuse disorders and addiction have trouble maintaining a job, a home, and friendships. They deplete their finances on their addiction of choice by gambling their money away or using what little they have to buy drugs or alcohol.
Rehab can be an expensive investment but a necessary one for those who wish to turn their life around. The good news is that most insurance companies have plans that cover drug and alcohol addiction. This helps thousands of people gain access to more affordable treatment for their drug or alcohol addiction.
As such, it’s important to know just how to go about using your insurance to pay for addiction treatment. Below are the basic steps you need to know before committing to a treatment plan.
Table of Contents
Step One: Discover if your insurance policy covers substance abuse disorders
Lots of people don’t know what their insurance policy covers until they’re pushed to find out. A medical crisis forces the call to the insurance company after a fall or a new diagnosis appears. In these instances, the policy holder can be caught unaware of their benefits.
This doesn’t have to be the case for those suffering from substance abuse disorders such as heroin addiction or alcoholism. Chatting with a representative from your health insurance company will provide you with the insights you need to seek treatment.
Step Two: Find local treatment services that are covered by your insurance.
There are many ways to go about finding a good and reputable treatment center. One way is to talk to your health care provider for a referral to a treatment center. This way, you can be sure that the facility is in good standing with the rest of your health care team.
Another option is to call your health insurance representative and talk to them about the treatment facilities under their network. This will ensure that you are going to a place that takes your insurance and has the trust of your physician.
A final option is to simply search for your health insurance and treatment facilities together. For example, I could key into the search bar: Blue Cross Blue Shield rehab centers in my area. You’ll find you have a lot of options this way, but this can be a double edge sword. Too many options can make it hard to choose which can prolong treatment.
Step Three: Know what kind of treatments will benefit you
Depending on your addiction, your treatment plan will differ from someone else going through addiction. If someone is in a really negative spot in life because of their addiction, they might need more extensive treatment when compared to someone who has been able to cope with their addiction on a day-to-day basis.
An outpatient treatment plan may be a great option for someone who is addicted to alcohol but only drinks at night. People with a quiet addiction like this could be able to function fairly well throughout the day and could potentially keep down a job. You don’t have to be a complete mess to have an addiction or to seek help.
That being said, someone who is so addicted to alcohol that they drink morning, noon, and night would benefit from an inpatient treatment center. People like this may not be capable of caring for themselves, and their families, or carry a job so, going into a more intense inpatient facility would help them recover faster.
There are also types of detoxification treatment that helps those detoxing from drugs or alcohol addiction. For example, if someone is addicted to heroin or another drug it can be dangerous for them to quit cold turkey. Detox medications help eliminate the risks associated with detoxing from the drug. This would have to be done in a hospital setting or an in-person treatment center. There are insurance options available for this sort of treatment as well.
Lastly, Therapy is an important option for those suffering from addiction. Speaking to a licensed therapist will help make sure the root cause of the addiction, such as anxiety or depression, is treated to reduce the risk of relapse. For ways to prevent relapse, check out the URL https://www.recoveryanswers.org/resource/relapse-prevention-rp/.
Step Four: Know your rights
You have to know what your legal rights are when dealing with insurance companies and medical offices. Health insurance companies are required to cover mental health disorders, including substance abuse, just as extensively as they do physical medical problems. It doesn’t matter if your substance abuse is a mental illness, your health insurance provider has to treat it the same as physical illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, or a broken bone.
Insurance companies aren’t allowed to deny you coverage if you choose to get health insurance while you battle addiction. Regardless of your recovery stage, you can still get covered by insurance. There is no cut-off date.
Also, there are several laws in place here in the United States, that make it impossible for insurance companies to deny you treatment for mental illness-related health problems, such as substance abuse. For more information regarding the laws that protect those suffering from substance abuse, click the link.
Obviously, your benefits will differ because of your location, the type of plan you chose, and what type of insurance you have, but just know that Medicaid, private insurance plans, and marketplace insurance plans have to cover your substance abuse treatment to some degree.
Step Five: Be patient with yourself
Recovery is a big step in your life and I won’t lie to you and say it’ll be easy. Be gentle with yourself. The steps you take on the road to recovery can be daunting and overwhelming. It’s okay to be scared, anxious, or confused. These are normal feelings.
Take your time, do your research, and find the best treatment methods available. Turn to your support systems when you need to and ask for help.