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For people who struggle with a substance addiction or abuse disorder, a rehabilitation program is the safest way to get help and achieve long-term sobriety. Rehab programs keep clients away from addictive and toxic substances; offer counseling services, both individual therapy and group support; promote overall wellness; provide training to overcome addictive impulses and cravings; and immerse clients in the recovery process.
While the value of rehab is undeniable, many people have concerns about the cost of these programs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends that people working to overcome an addiction stay in treatment for at least 90 days, in order to receive the full benefits. But when considering the cost of a three-month stay, many people might initially feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, rehab is within reach for those who need it. There are options for every income level, and changes enacted by the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other benefits may insurance coverage for rehab more likely.
As of 2014, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) was officially enacted. This part of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare or the ACA, was passed by Congress in 2008 and requires insurance companies to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment programs to the same extent that they cover other healthcare services. This means that insurance companies must cover at least part of a person’s substance abuse treatment. This is true for people who have been with the same insurance company for years, and for people who have recently switched insurance. Companies are not allowed to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, including substance abuse disorders.
For people who are able to pay for private insurance, or who have insurance through their employers, the ACA mandates at least partial coverage of these services, but the entire cost may not be covered. Contacting your insurance company to ask about services can help clarify how much of the treatment will be covered, and whether inpatient or outpatient services will be covered differently. Regardless, treatment for substance abuse disorders and addiction is now considered an Essential Health Benefit, and it has legal protection.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a comprehensive list of treatment options, which they update every year with the help of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
For people who do not have or cannot afford private insurance, there are still many options for treatment. Here are a few:
If a nearby substance abuse treatment program does not accept a specific individual insurance plan, Medicaid, or offer sliding scale or discounted services, there are still ways that a person can pay for treatment. Here are a few options:
Other options include personal loans from friends or family; cashing in retirement accounts; or taking a second mortgage or home equity loan. People can also take out loans against personal property, such vehicles or even jewelry.
Thanks to changes from the Affordable Care Act, payment plans, and changes in how society thinks about addiction, there are more ways than ever to get help overcoming addiction and substance abuse. Do not be afraid to discuss financial challenges and options with any prospective treatment center. Finances should not be barrier to anyone getting the help they need.