Addiction treatment is a necessity, not a luxury. Just like chemotherapy for cancer, addiction treatment is a serious medical intervention to address a life-threatening disease. Everyone deserves access to addiction treatment, and today more than ever, affordable care is a reality. If you’re wondering, “Can I afford rehab?” the answer might surprise you.
Types of Addiction Treatment
First, it’s important to know that there are several types of addiction treatment of varying intensity and cost. The most comprehensive is residential addiction treatment, where patients live at an addiction treatment facility for a period of weeks or months, receiving treatment and support 24/7. From there, clients frequently step down to intensive outpatient programs (IOP) or outpatient addiction treatment programs (OP). Depending on the severity of the addiction, some may find IOP or OP to be a more affordable starting point for treatment. Individual counseling is also an appropriate place to start if cost is a concern. However, comprehensive residential addiction treatment is by far the most powerful way to stop addiction in its tracks.
The Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act
In recent years, the US government has enacted legislation to help Americans get access to affordable addiction treatment. One of the first laws in this effort was the Mental Health Parity Act, passed in 1996. That law stated that insurance providers could not place unfair restrictions on mental health benefits, specifically as compared to surgical and medical benefits. More than ten years later, that law was updated to address addiction treatment.
In 2008, Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Known as MHPAEA, the law extends protections to mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Originally, the law only applied to group health plans but it was expanded in 2010 to apply to individual health insurance benefits. Of course, the law did not require insurers to cover mental health or substance use disorder treatment. It only required that those who choose to offer such benefits must do so at a level that matches other medical benefits.
The Affordable Care Act & Addiction Treatment
Access to affordable addiction treatment was broadened even further in 2010 with the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” The ACA defined substance use disorder treatment as an essential health benefit, requiring Medicaid and all health insurances sold on the Health Insurance exchange to cover it.
Paying for Rehab with Insurance
Thanks to the MHPAEA and the ACA, most people with health insurance will receive some kind of coverage for their addiction treatment. All plans and providers are different, but in some cases you won’t have to pay anything at all up front. Many providers require a co-pay to be paid after addiction treatment.
Verify Your Insurance Benefits for Addiction Treatment
The best way to know what level of addiction treatment your insurance will cover is to verify your benefits. Addiction treatment facilities like Sunflower Recover work frequently with insurance providers to get their clients help. For that reason, if you provide your insurance details to our caring and efficient admissions team, they’ll do the legwork of talking to your provider for you and give you a summary of what to expect in terms of your payment.