The Affordable Care Act is bringing massive changes to the American healthcare scene, and many people are wondering how it will affect their ability to receive treatment for conditions like substance abuse. Will Obamacare pay for outpatient addiction treatment? The short answer is, yes.
Substance Abuse and Addiction Are Largely Untreated
23.5 million Americans are currently struggling in the grip of active addiction, but only 2.3 million of them are receiving any form of substance abuse or addiction treatment. The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is expected to extend addiction treatment benefits to all Americans by the end of 2014.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance providers will be required to treat outpatient addiction treatment – and inpatient addiction treatment – as “essential care.” That means all plans sold under Obamacare will be required to offer some form of coverage for outpatient addiction treatment and even more comprehensive inpatient programs.
The ACA will also require insurance providers to cover office visits for substance abuse and related disorders. That should mean expanded access to outpatient addiction treatment, as more than half a million primary care physicians will be empowered to offer their patients outpatient addiction treatment themselves in their offices.
What’s more, the ACA will require that insurers cover outpatient addiction treatment for all stages of addiction – not just the more severe stages, which often occur only after an addict has suffered serious harm due to his or her condition. Soon, treatment will be available even to people in the earliest stages of a substance abuse disorder.
Under the ACA, physicians and addiction counselors will be able to focus on providing a lot more preventative care for substance abuse disorders, and they’ll also be able to provide early intervention for more substance abusers. This means better recovery outcomes for many, at a significantly reduced cost to all concerned. Even the 60 million Americans who do not have an addiction but who engage in risky substance use will be able to get substance abuse treatment.
If you need addiction treatment, The Delray Center for Healing can help. Call us today at 1-888-699-5679 to learn more.