Drug rehab might be the key to escaping your addiction and reclaiming your life. However, treatment in a rehab facility can be expensive due to all of the costs of the medical staff, therapy, room and board, and everything else that comes with detox. Insurance plays a big role in paying for these costs, but your insurance policy might change depending on the legislative environment and your health insurance company. In this post, we will talk about the importance of insurance in paying for rehab and why it matters.
Addiction and Insurance
The first thing of importance is to find out if rehab is covered under your insurance plan or not, and if so, what kind of coverage you have. The coverage might have stipulations about how long you can spend in the rehab center or which center you can attend, for example. It also might place limits on how much the insurance company will spend on your stay in a given year. All of these variables can affect what you will need to pay and where you can go for rehab.
The easiest way to get this information is to call the insurance company directly. You might have a description in the explanation of benefits document, but this can be hard to read. The downside of calling a representative is that they sometimes give you the wrong information, especially when it comes to specialty care like rehab. You should probably call at least twice and ask them for some kind of written or emailed record of the coverage so that you have it to use as a reference later on, if necessary. You might need to get the rehab center approved by the insurance company before you can attend, so make sure that you are in touch with the insurance provider through the whole process. That way, you will not have any surprises about the bill. This might not always be the easiest thing for you to do, especially if rehab is an emergency option or you don’t have much notice, but the more information you share with the insurance provider, the more they can tell you about what you might have to pay and how you can make the best use of your policy.
Rehab itself consists of several different services. Although they are not hospitals, rehab centers have overnight stays, medical oversight, and similar services, especially for when they have clients who are going through significant withdrawal symptoms. The main form of intervention at a rehab center is therapy, so the therapist will have billable hours that they charge to insurance. The cost of food and staying there will also be a factor. You might incur medical charges depending on what you need while you stay at the rehab center. Additionally, your insurance company will be charged more the longer you stay at the center.
Your time in rehab is just the start of your recovery, though. Again, it depends on exactly what substance you have used and your level of health and wellness, but you will almost certainly need some kind of ongoing care after you leave rehab. This might be anything from therapy to some kind of medical intervention, such as a nicotine patch, methadone maintenance, or something else.
That means you will still have to deal with the insurance coverage of those services to make sure that your needs are being met. Ongoing medical costs are hardly unique, but you might still need to check in with your insurance provider to see if they are covered, what kind of copays you might have, and other questions. This can be a long process, so be prepared to have to make several calls.
Changes to Your Plan
Typically, plans do not change in the middle of the year. But when the open enrollment period in the fall starts, insurance companies will put next year’s plans on the market. Your old plan might change then- next year it might have different coverage, different costs, higher or lower premiums, and anything else. You might need to shop around to find the equivalent to your old plan. Make sure that you research your options every year, because changes to the laws, the costs of the insurance company, and other factors can mean that your plan might keep its name, but change significant other elements. If you just let yourself get re-enrolled for your same plan, you might get worse coverage or higher costs and fees without realizing it.
This is particularly problematic if you already have a therapist, a course of medication, or some other consistent treatment and you want to keep it going. You have to be proactive about your insurance plan to ensure that you get the coverage you need. In some cases, you might need to change doctors or make other alterations to keep the cost of the treatment affordable. This is an unfortunate reality but you generally have to go out of your way to keep the insurance company accountable.
Under current law, insurance companies can no longer charge more or deny coverage for a pre-existing condition like addiction. But you still have to look for a good deal that will combine reasonable premiums with useful coverage. You can’t be sure how long you will need treatment, and it is also possible that you will wind up going through rehab more than once. Look through your plan and talk to the insurance reps to see what would happen in different scenarios and what your options are as far as rehab centers, therapists, and clinics are. You need care providers that are affordable and located someplace where you can reach them without having to spend too much time traveling. As long as you stay on top of things and remain in the loop about your plan, you should be fine.
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