Inpatient facilities treating addiction that cost tens of thousands a month get a lot of attention, especially when they treat celebrities. People in need of treatment get the idea that addiction treatment is too costly, but not all treatment is so expensive — not even all inpatient treatment is that costly. One of the obstacles to substance abuse and addiction treatment is the cost. Most people seeking treatment have many problems as a result of their heavy drinking or drug use, and one of these problems, naturally, is financial problems — another is loss of employment which is a source of the financial difficulty.
The Affordable Care Act addresses substance abuse treatment, but some of the insurance policies people purchase come with a high deductible — out of pocket costs can be higher than the cost of most outpatient treatment charges. Many more people now qualify for Medicaid, but not many providers accept Medicaid, for various payment and red tape reasons, so there’s a problem with access.
I’m sure that ACA will provide more options for those who still have employment and aren’t financially burdened, but the people ACA targeted to receive addiction treatment might not get the intended benefit. Everyone with a new policy should check with their insurance contact to see exactly what is covered and how much out of pocket costs are involved. Fortunately, some treatment providers will charge using a sliding scale and some will work out payment plans. The days of the 30 day inpatient stay are over for most people in need of treatment, but with a combination of short term detox, or ambulatory detox, most people can pay for outpatient treatment through a payment plan. If you check with an outpatient addiction treatment center locally, they’ll let you know at no charge what type of coverage you have, and what type of payment plan can be put together.
Most people seeking treatment have family who will help if they know the person seeking substance abuse treatment is serious, and a part of an unemployed person’s treatment plan entering treatment is to gain employment. With a combination of family help, possible ACA coverage, getting a job and working out a payment plan that is no higher than what it costs to buy alcohol or other drugs for a month, a person can pay for their treatment over time. The key to this being financially viable is that the person entering treatment is serious about recovery. If the person is serious about recovery from addiction, the savings just from the costs of alcohol and other drugs alone, not to mention the ancillary costs associated with substance abuse such as DWIs, health problems and being unemployable, will be massively larger than the cost of treatment. In financial terms, it will be a very profitable investment.