Addiction treatment is funded in a variety of ways. Often, health insurance covers a significant portion of the costs. Frequently, patients use more than one source to pay for their treatment. The 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that about 53% of patients surveyed used two or more sources of funding. These included private insurance, public assistance programs like Medicare or Medicaid, gifts or loans from family members, personal savings or earnings, and payment through military health care, the court system, or an employer.
Addiction Treatment Is a Good Investment
No matter how it is paid, addiction treatment is a worthwhile investment. It is worth the effort to find funding for the following reasons:
- Addiction tends to worsen over time. The American Society of Addiction Medicine notes that the condition is chronic and progressive. They report that without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction may result in disability or premature death.
- Addiction is costly. Although there is a cost associated with treatment, there are also significant costs associated with addiction itself. Many of these costs are difficult to quantify. They include such things as broken relationships, lost reputations, and missed opportunities. When there is legal trouble, addiction can cost people their freedom. There are also financial costs. The most basic is the amount of money spent on drugs or alcohol, which can be significant. Money may also be spent on healthcare and legal fees. In addition, addiction may affect finances by impairing people’s ability to work.
- Treatment works. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the majority of people who enter and remain in treatment stop their use of drugs and improve their functioning socially, occupationally and psychologically. Although relapse is never welcome, it is simply an indication that treatment should be adjusted and does not mean patients will not ultimately be successful. As NIDA notes, the relapse rates for addiction are about the same as those for other chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma and hypertension.
- Treatment is cost effective. NIDA reports that addiction treatment reduces health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. They estimate that the savings to cost ratio can exceed 12 to 1.
Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment
Insurance coverage for addiction treatment varies according to policy. Patients’ out-of-pocket costs are influenced by numerous factors. These may be determined by reading the Summary Plan Description and Evidence of Coverage sections of the policy information.
Often, coverage is influenced by network considerations. If plans are associated with health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs), then coverage will vary depending on whether the treatment provider is within the network. For PPOs, out-of-network care is generally covered at a lower rate. In many HMOs, out-of-network care is not covered at all.
Insurance policies may also cover some types of addiction treatment, but not others. They may cover outpatient treatment, for example, but not residential care. They may cover detox services for some substances of abuse but not others. It is also common for policies to limit the number of days of treatment they will cover. Some have a fixed rate, while others require continuing evidence of need before additional days will be allowed.
Addiction Treatment and Budget Considerations
Patients concerned with budget restrictions have options for care. Outpatient programs, for example, generally cost much less than residential treatment options because patients are paying for treatment only, and not for lodging and food. Although outpatient programs are a good option for many patients, those with more longstanding or severe addictions are generally better served in a residential facility.
There are many other factors that influence treatment cost. Some facilities, for example, provide more luxurious accommodations than do others. These are likely to be more expensive. The geographical area of the country is likely to affect cost, as well. The type of staff at a facility may affect costs. Those that employ medical personnel are likely to be more expensive than those without such employees.
Addiction often co-exists with a mental health condition like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression. The best treatment outcomes come from treating all conditions simultaneously, preferably within the same treatment facility. Programs that do this are likely to be more expensive. Patients with co-occurring disorders, however, may also be able to tap into additional insurance coverage for the second diagnosis.
Treatment facilities understand financial realities. Many use a sliding scale based on income to determine costs. They are also generally able to work with patients to structure a payment plan that fits within a patient’s budget.
We Can Help
If you are struggling with amphetamine addiction, we can work with you to help you find a treatment program that fits your physical and financial situation. If you wish, we can check your insurance coverage for you, at no cost or obligation. Our helpline is toll-free and available 24 hours a day, so there’s never a wrong time to call. Why not call now? A new life is waiting.