Insurance Coverage and Substance Abuse

Worrying about the cost of recovery programs can be a huge source of stress. Thankfully, most insurance plans cover the cost of treatment

One of our biggest concerns as recovering addicts, one that can cause us a lot of stress, worry, and anxiety, is how we will cover the cost of our recovery treatment program. If we’re struggling financially, worrying about how we will pay for treatment can be one of our biggest impediments to getting help. We often won’t seek out treatment because we assume we can’t afford it. We assume our insurance won’t cover the cost of treatment. Many of us don’t have insurance, and we worry that we can’t afford to obtain it. Thankfully, most insurance plans do cover the cost of addiction recovery treatment, so we don’t have to let the financial burden of rehab be an obstacle to our getting help.

In 2008, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act made it unlawful for insurance companies to discriminate against people with substance use disorders. This means they also can’t deny people coverage on that basis. Furthermore, in 2010 the Affordable Care Act classified addiction and mental health resources and services as essential health benefits. This means our struggles with addiction and mental health were finally recognized as medical health issues, rather than simply being behavioral or emotional problems that insurance companies could deny coverage for or discriminate against. These developments mean that, in this country, no one can be denied insurance coverage on the basis of their history with addiction or current substance use.

Most insurance plans generally cover treatment for substance abuse issues. This can include both inpatient and outpatient services, psychotherapy, counseling, and other resources. Every insurance plan is different, so you’ll want to contact your insurance provider for more information on their specific mental health and substance abuse treatment coverage. You can also call the treatment centers you’re looking at and ask them what insurance plans they accept. Additionally, you can ask your insurance provider if there are any treatment centers whose programs they do or do not cover. Be sure to also check what specific programs and services they cover. For example, do they cover all-inclusive treatment including billing for lab reports and prescriptions, or are certain things not covered?

If we don’t have insurance, we can find out more about getting insured by visiting our local hospital or community health center. They can provide helpful resources and even help us apply for insurance. We can also research plans online to find one we can afford. Access to health care services should never keep us from getting the help we need to get sober. 

Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.