Three Ways Having Insurance for Rehab Helps Recovery
Addiction is finally beginning to get the public attention and medical attention it needs. As insurance coverage changes in response to several new laws, rehab and recovery services are more likely to be offered and to be covered by insurance. In 2013 Congress passed the Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Act, which required insurers to cover substance abuse treatment services in the same manner and to the same degree as other health services. This act was passed because government representatives recognized that increased access to addiction treatment resources can do the following: “Reduce crime and improve public safety by making treatment…available to every American who needs it; keep families together by encouraging alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug law offenses; help identify root causes and most effective treatment methods…; and expand research into cutting-edge treatment methods” (GovTrack.us). This recognition of the benefits of increased insurance coverage for addiction services was seconded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its determination that addiction and mental health care is one of the ten essential health benefits that should be made available to every individual. These new laws and acts mean more politicians, medical professionals and individuals are realizing the positive impact access to substance abuse treatment has on individuals, families and communities.
Insurance Helps Recovery by Increasing Access to Treatment
Every new law or act increasing access to addiction treatment potentially saves lives. Forbes.com shares that there was, “a 19.5 percent increase in hospital admissions for substance abuse treatment in 2011, which was the first year most employers began adhering to new rules finalized for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.” This does not mean there was a nearly 20 percent increase in those in need of substance abuse treatment; it means that a significant portion of the population that would have gone without care no longer had to. Insurance coverage changes if addiction treatment is accessed, and those who choose treatment and are able to afford it thanks to insurance are able to live longer, healthier and more balanced.
Insurance coverage also changes how and when addiction treatment is accessed. The Fix explains that without insurance, “prisons and jails end up treating a large portion of the U.S. population that has substance abuse problems…The ACA could help change all that. First, the overall expanded insurance access means lower-income people can get access to health coverage without having to be involved in the criminal justice system at all.” When individuals have insurance, they have the opportunity to pursue rehab before they are forced into the criminal justice system. They save taxpayers money by reducing the number of cases held and reducing the numbers of incarcerated individuals. Most importantly getting treatment before legal consequences occur benefits the lives of the individuals struggling with addiction. They do not have to spend time in jail and have their professional, personal and family lives interrupted. Insurance coverage for rehab and addiction treatment helps individuals avoid jail, and it helps them find lasting recovery. Recovery involves much more than a brief period of detox or a few therapy sessions. As The Fix shares, “prisoners with substance abuse problems today suffer from a lack of continuity of care…They arrive in lock-up with substance abuse issues, receive some treatment, then leave the criminal justice system and lose access to care.” This can also hold true for those who have chosen rehab freely. They may have insurance coverage or savings for immediate inpatient or intensive care, but they may not be able to afford long-term aftercare and follow-up services without help from insurance. Insurance coverage ensures anyone can continue to participate in the ongoing services that are essential for long-term recovery and relapse prevention.
Insurance Helps Recovery by Improving the Lives of Those in Need of Help
Stigma and misconceptions about addicts and treatment can prove to be as big of stumbling blocks to recovery as financial concerns. The Huffington Post explains that increasing access to substance abuse treatment can increase understanding about addiction as a whole, as, “One of the most important changes in the ACA may come from its larger philosophical implications…President Obama’s health care act enshrines in federal law that substance abuse is a medical issue—not the result of poor morals, and not a criminal justice problem.” Additionally, “The ACA’s federal definition of addiction as a healthcare issue may even pave the way to greater changes, potentially including decriminalization.” When addiction is understood as a disease, much of the stigma surrounding it lifts. Others offer to help rather than condemn those who are struggling, and those with substance abuse issues find that speaking up and asking for that help becomes easier when they do not fear judgment or shame from others. Insurance coverage for rehab shows that medical professionals, corporations and the government all agree that addiction is a disease that needs medical attention, and this can begin to change public opinion about how addiction and those who face it should be treated.
Increases the Quality and Number of Treatment Programs for Everyone
Insurance coverage for rehab and addiction services means more people can get help and that more people understand and want help. It also means more help, and better help, can be offered. Kaiser Health News shares, “Serious impediments remain to widespread access, including a shortage of substance abuse providers and available beds nationwide.” When insurance covers rehab, more rehab services can be offered. Addiction treatment becomes a legitimate and viable business, and more medical professionals become interested in offering and expanding addiction treatment services. More money becomes available for research and studies, and more skilled doctors, psychologists and therapists become interested in specializing in addiction care. Insurance coverage for rehab improves options for, access to and quality of addiction recovery programs.
Finding Rehab Covered by Your Insurance
New and changing insurance laws may mean that rehab and recovery are now within your reach. Call our toll-free helpline to get a free assessment and learn about the rehab programs that will be covered by your plan. Our admissions coordinators can handle all of the details of treatment for you, from ensuring coverage to arranging travel. We are here 24 hours a day, so please don’t hesitate to call now.