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Why Healthcare Plans Should Cover Substance Abuse Rehab

Statistics On Medical Care Regarding Obamacare

The latest statistics on medical care in the U.S. show no end in sight to the rapidly escalating costs that are central to the ongoing debate around “Obamacare.” Approximately 17.4 percent of the national gross domestic product goes to pay for healthcare, but almost 50 million Americans have no insurance coverage, and 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies are attributable to medical debt. Consumers trying to find health insurance online are seeking relief from rates that went up an additional 8-9 percent in 2011. Many of these people have pre-existing conditions including substance abuse issues that, for the most part, prevent them from getting the help they so badly need.

A Mixed Bag of Rehab Benefits Available

For those seeking insurance benefits to pay for substance abuse rehab, fear of job loss and a sense of personal shame often prevent them from fully exploring their coverage options. This is a serious mistake. The 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act requires that many group insurance plans include coverage benefits for drug and alcohol treatment on par with those for “standard” medical treatments.

An estimated 100 million workers have rehab coverage through their group plans and may not even be aware of that fact. When these benefits are present, they typically apply to both group and individual inpatient care, as well as day programs, hospitalization, detoxification, and residential scenarios. How important is it in this rough economy to find help with rehab expenses?

Benefits for Rehab Are Crucial

An in-patient addiction program costs, on average, $7000 a month according to data compiled by the National Substance Abuse Treatment Services Study. Unfortunately, recovery is rarely a one-month process. A 90-day course of treatment is the more likely scenario. Factor in the high probability of relapses and multiple rehab stays, and the bill can easily total $75,000 or more.

People who try to pay for substance abuse programs without insurance assistance often wind up getting no help at all because they simply cannot bear the economic burden. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study in 2011 showing the out-of-pocket cost of healthcare premiums for an average family of four covered by a family member’s job benefits to be $15,000. Many people fear that if they disclose their abuse problems, they will lose their insurance, and take their family’s coverage with them.

Private Insurance is Often Not an Option

For individuals covered by private insurance, rehab benefits are often not an option because the cost of the coverage is prohibitive. As the nation continues to struggle with an ongoing healthcare debate central to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, substance abuse coverage should be addressed more directly.

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, contains a number of provisions that would make both addiction prevention and treatment more accessible and more cost effective. The key provision would be the ban on insurance coverage exclusions for pre-existing health conditions for all adults that will take effect in 2014 if the law is allowed to stand. Without that enhanced protection, this crucial insurance assistance for substance abuse sufferers will continue to be priced beyond reason for the people who need it the most. At substanceabuserehab.com we offer help finding treatment facilities that you can afford either out of pocket or with your insurance coverage.

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