In many cases, health insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of addiction treatment. And, even if your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of treatment, you can still afford some of the expenses. The most popular methods of addiction treatment coverage include ACA-approved insurance plans, pro-addiction treatment medical sharing plans, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Coverage for Addiction Treatment Under the ACA
If you have an ACA-approved plan, then behavior health and substance abuse treatment benefits are a part of your plan. In fact, federal law requires that ACA-approved insurers must address addiction treatment the same way it would any other medical treatment. So, your insurance cannot discriminate based on what kind of treatment you need; you’d be treated with the same attention and dignity for addiction as you would be for an illness like cancer. Still, that doesn’t mean that you will have 100% coverage. So, you should discuss the extent of your insurance coverage with admissions counselors. It’s best to ensure you know all the facts before entering treatment.
If you can’t afford an ACA-approved plan, your admission counselor may be able to help you. A particularly popular option is applying for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is available to individuals who fall below a certain income threshold— and it also includes substance abuse benefits.
What If I Have a Faith-Based Medical Sharing Plan?
The cost of traditional health care coverage may not be the only deterrent for those looking for addiction treatment. In fact, philosophical differences with ACA plan requirements have caused many Christians to turn to faith-based medical sharing plans. These kinds of plans typically require members to belong to a church and profess Christian values. This includes believing in God, following the Holy Scriptures, and accepting Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.
While faith-based medical sharing plans do satisfy coverage requirements to avoid federal tax penalties (as of 2017), they are not the same thing as insurance. Because of that, they don’t have the same regulations. Faith-based sharing programs typically don’t pay for certain types of treatment or medicine, like birth control. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most faith-based medical sharing plans don’t cover mental health treatment— including addiction treatment.
So, if you have a medical sharing plan, be sure to review all the documents you received when you signed up. Or, you can call the plan customer service line to ask if addiction treatment is part of the sharing network. If your plan does cover addiction treatment bills, be sure to explain this to your admissions counselor. Make it clear how your sharing plan works and what the receiving facility can expect. It’s also a good idea to ask if any discounts are available for self-pay patients; your plan puts you in this category. Your medical sharing plan may also be able to offer assistance with planning for invoices and appropriately settling bills following treatment.
Covering Substance Abuse Treatment Expenses with an HSA
Finally, whether you have an ACA plan, are part of a medical sharing network, or don’t have coverage at all, consider setting up a Health Savings Account. An HSA account is funded with your money. There are some rules regarding reimbursement for medical costs, but all in all, you control your HSA. Insurance companies and your employer will not have access to or control over it. With an HSA, you can use funds to cover certain costs of addiction treatment and recovery. Allowable finances are automatically approved and reimbursed after you complete applicable paperwork and submit invoices or receipts.
Some things you can use HSA funds to cover might include:
- Copayments or deductibles to licensed providers of addiction treatment services
- Invoices and bills related to treatment in inpatient or outpatient programs or for individuals services from doctors or counselors
- Medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — that are related to your recovery
- Nontraditional therapies that are recommended or ordered by a medical provider, including, acupuncture, massage, and recreational treatments
- Travel costs incurred while attending treatment, NA/AA meetings or follow-up doctors and therapy appointments
- Meal costs incurred while traveling or attending treatment
Each HSA has its own processes and detailed regulations. With this in mind, be sure that you understand what they are when you file for reimbursement.
Don’t Put Financial Concerns Before Your Health
It’s important to note that financial worries should not be a reason that you completely forgo treatment for addiction or substance abuse. Putting off treatment because you’re worried about paying for it can make the situation much worse and lead to even more expensive treatment needs. Many options for treatment exist, and numerous assistance programs and billing options let providers work with you so you can get the help you need.
If you are dealing with substance abuse or addiction and you have coverage, gather your insurance cards or other documents and call The Road to Freedom now to find out about treatment. Even if you don’t have coverage, call us to speak with a caring, licensed admissions counselor who can help you understand your options and what steps to take next.
For anyone — of any income level and background — professional addiction treatment is often the best way to seek a sober, more positive future. Call now for more information at (844) 402-3605.