In 2008, the Affordable Care Act passed, requiring all insurance companies to provide coverage for drug or alcohol treatment. As a treatable disease, we now know that addiction changes brain function and essentially rewires the reward and pleasure center of the brain. Professional treatment at a licensed facility is the best way to treat addiction and prevent relapse.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that roughly 23.5 million Americans suffer from addiction. Of those who suffer, it’s also estimated that only about 11 percent actually receive treatment. The most common reason that deters individuals from seeking help is the cost of rehab. For many, financial hardship is a product of addiction, and the thought of taking time off work and school seems unmanageable. In addition to this, the added stress of paying for treatment while in recovery can be detrimental to recovery and may lead to relapse.
By offering rehab coverage on all standard insurance policies, individuals can seek treatment without worrying about paying the full amount of rehab. Making inpatient and outpatient rehab treatment more accessible to those who need it will help individuals and families, as well as the American economy. The most recent figures from the National Institute on Drug Abuse state that approximately $700 billion per year is spent on addiction-related costs. From crime to healthcare and reduced work productivity, one thing is for sure; improving access to rehab will benefit everyone.