The most momentous decision that a using addict or alcoholic or individual suffering from other mental health issues can make is the decision to acknowledge that he or she needs and is willing to accept help. Once the decision is made, there are, unfortunately, more barriers to getting the necessary treatment. First, not every treatment center is going to be the right treatment center for every individual. Also, one has to take into consideration the pricing and quality of the treatment center the individual is attending and how insurance factors into this. I went to a psychiatric ward for four days while my father and I figured out exactly which treatment center suited our situation the best. In a way this is ideal, because it kept me safe and gave us time to make an educated decision.
In theory, all insurance companies should cover addiction treatment. The Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance companies to cover residential substance abuse treatment (D. Beck). Prior to that, 43 states required this coverage of their insurers (Beck). While it intrinsically makes sense that dealing with addiction earlier prevents later healthcare costs, the unfortunate fact is many times insurance company representatives may deny claims and repeatedly attempt to not follow through on payment of residential mental health treatment.
If you do not have access to insurance or it does not cover a sufficient portion of your treatment, there are several other treatment and funding options to examine. First, once you have selected the ideal treatment option, ask them if they have sliding scale options. Generally, larger or well-established institutions are more able to provide sliding scale options. Often these institutions will not advertise their ability to do sliding scale options until you have asked, and—only after you have demonstrated need—will fully show their capability to make arrangements for you. The sliding scale option may be available especially when the treatment center has admissions.
Another option for treatment is scholarships. Scholarships for treatment are generally linked to treatment centers, like the St. Joseph Scholarship Fund that aims to help those without insurance or Medicaid. St. Joseph’s gives out up to 12 scholarships a year. New Directions for Women works with insurance but also gives “partial scholarships” when needed. Other scholarships to look into include Caron and C.A.R.E.’s Helping an Addict. Some scholarships are in commemoration of someone. One example is Henry’s Fund, which awarded two fully paid residential addiction treatments to two teenage boys. His mother wrote on a blog the sentiment behind the scholarship, “18 year old Henry Granju’s life mattered, and it will continue to matter in the legacy of hope he has left behind.”
Free options for treatment in Southern California include the Salvation Army’s Adult Recovery Centers, Miriam’s House, OPCC, and the Clare Foundation, among others. The Clare Foundation generally has a wait list, but is well known and respected among the treatment community. Some options for women provide substance abuse treatment in addition to housing for children and a discrete, secured location to keep the women and children safe from abusive individuals.
When trying to find a treatment center, it is not just about cost. See if the treatment centers you are looking at have strong religious observation practices that may disrupt your treatment. I suggest asking around a local 12 step meeting, sober living, or ask your therapist what treatment centers have the best reputations and working out pricing options from that point.
Addiction-Treatment. Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment. 2012. Website. 2012.
Beck, Deb. RE: Residential Addiction Treatment/Health Care Reform. 7 February 2011. Document. 2012.
Beck, Deborah. Can’t Get Treatment Through Your Health Insurance Plan? 2012. Article. 2012.
Drug Treatment Insurance. Which Insurance Companies Cover Addiction Rehab? 2010. Website. 2012.
By Emily F.
Filed under: Featured, Treatment · Tags: 12-step, addict, Addiction, Adult Recovery Centers, Affordable Care Act, alcohol, Alcohol and Drugs, alcoholic, C.A.R.E., Caron, drug addiction, drug use, Helping an Addict, Henry Granju, Henry’s Fund, insurance, insurance companies, insurance coverage, insurers, Medicaid, mental health, mental health issues, Miriam’s House, New Directions for Women, Obamacare, OPCC, partial scholarships, residential mental health treatment, Salvation Army, scholarships, sliding scale, sober living, Southern California, St. Joseph Scholarship Fund, The Clare Foundation, therapist, therapy, Treatment, treatment community, using addict, women, women and children