Health insurance is a hotly debated topic affecting individuals across the nation. As the cost of coverage continues to rise more and more Americans are unable to afford coverage. Many employers are forced to cut employee benefits in an effort to cut expenses. That means an increasing number of working Americans are unable to afford treatment even when they become sick. Unfortunately, the lack of health care coverage means that more individuals are less likely to seek drug rehab treatment as well because they think they can’t afford it.
Treatment Costs Variables
Treatment cost is impacted by many different variables. For instance, residential treatment generally costs more than outpatient treatment. Some addictions, like alcoholism require more time to treat, and therefore over time involve more cost. The location of a treatment center, available amenities and staffing are also determining factors in treatment cost.
The Private Insurance Dilemma
As of July 1st, 2010 new regulations went into affect requiring private group health insurance plans to offer coverage for rehab treatment of disorders just as coverage is offered for other illnesses. According to National Drug Control Policy Director, Gil Kerlikowske, these regulations were put into place to help “close the gap” among U.S. residents in need of substance abuse treatment. The trouble is fewer working Americans are able to afford private insurance these days.
Expensive Insurance Coverage Leads to Lack of Drug Rehab Treatment Options
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) published a report in 2010 tackling the issue of uninsured/ underinsured workers and substance abuse. According to the reports, data collected from 2007-2008 showed that 18.4 million full-time workers between the ages of 18 to 64 were uninsured. That’s about 15.5% of all U.S. workers within that age range.
The reports also estimated that up to 3.o million full-time workers needed drug rehab treatment within the past year: 13.3 needed alcohol rehab treatment, 5.6% needed treatment for elicit drug use and 2.7% needed both alcohol and drug rehab treatment. Out of the estimated 3.0 million full-time workers in need of treatment, only 378,000 were treated at an alcohol and drug rehab treatment center.
Successfully substance abuse recovery can depend heavily on the quality of treatment a patient receives. It’s important to choose a drug rehab treatment center that can provide the best personalized treatment program and support from a qualified, competent staff of professionals. Treatment centers must charge patients because they have fixed expenses. Those without insurance coverage may have other options such as Medicaid and Medicare (if accepted), military insurance and employer sponsored programs.