Covered Insurance Deductibles May Mean Lower Treatment Costs at Year’s End

By John Lavitt 12/05/14

Instead of waiting till next year, seeking treatment now could save families money as well as their loved ones' lives.

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As 2014 comes to a close, many high insurance deductibles have been met. As a result, both the families of addicts and addicts themselves are motivated to find addiction treatment before the end of the year. Given the higher insurance deductibles that have gone hand-in-hand with the Affordable Care Act, the affordability of drug and alcohol rehab has been an increasingly important consideration for people looking for help.

As opposed to having to pay $3,000 or more to cover a high deductible in 2015, families of addicts hope to get loved ones help now. At the same time, people with drug and alcohol problems who are on the fence about whether or not they want to go into treatment are reconsidering their reluctant stances in order to save money before their new deductibles kick in.

In some cases, family members are proposing court-mandated treatment. Beyond the desire to save money, such families simply want to save the lives of their loved ones. Although the idea of compulsory drug treatment is controversial, New York Assemblyman Phil Steck agrees with this perspective, "Addiction is a disease, and people need help overcoming it. They may not be able to overcome it on their own…It's in society's best interest many times to force them into it."

Even with quality insurance options, the best substance abuse treatment programs are costly. Consequently, entering treatment at the end of 2014 actually appears to be ideal. Since many deductibles have already been partially or wholly covered, the financial burden is lessened across the board.

Although the Affordable Care Act has led to the uninsured being given access to health insurance, it has not come without a price. As Trudy Lieberman warns, “No matter where you live, the premium tells only half of the ‘what-you-pay story.’ The cost sharing the carrier requires is the other half. Most of the cost sharing comes in the form of high deductibles, the amount a person pays before insurance kicks in. That can be as much as $4,000, $5,000, even $6,000 per year for an individual; more for a family plan.”

Given such high deductibles, making drug and alcohol treatment a priority at the end of 2014 is a financially wise move. After all, saving an addict’s life should not financially hurt a family and jeopardize their future. By showing support in an effort to get a loved one the help he or she needs now, a family can be spared unnecessary expense.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.