You’ve finally made the brave decision to get help for your addiction. While you may feel relieved that you finally decided to seek treatment, you probably have more questions than answers about the process.
Many people choosing to enter treatment often have one similar question: How am I going to pay for it? After all, inpatient and even outpatient drug treatment can be expensive depending on the facility you choose. You may already be living paycheck to paycheck. Can you even afford to get help?
If you have medical insurance, there’s a good chance at least a portion of your rehab stay will be covered. Of course, this depends on your type of insurance. Since coverage varies by plan and state, you want to know just how much help you will get from your insurance company.
Blue Cross Blue Shield and Drug Rehab
If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance, there’s a good chance you will get some financial help during your treatment. This large insurance company covers more than 100 million Americans in all 50 states. The network has more than 35 independent and local agencies. In addition, a majority of hospitals and health care providers have agreements with a BCBS agency.
If you have BCBS insurance, you want to find an addiction treatment provider that is in your network. If you go out of network, you may have to pay most or all of your treatment expenses.
Those with HMO plans often have limited choices. Individuals with a PPO plan usually have more flexibility in choosing a drug rehab.
Depending on your state, most BCBS insurance holders fall into a few different categories. Here is a general overview:
- Platinum plan: This plan has the highest monthly payment. As a result, your deductibles tend to be lower and up to 90 percent of medical costs are covered.
- Gold plan: These plans have slightly lower monthly payments. Up to 80 percent of your medical costs may be covered.
- Silver plan: This mid-range insurance category may cover up to 70 percent of medical costs.
- Bronze plan: Though this plan has the lowest monthly costs, you will probably be paying more out-of-pocket for treatment. A bronze plan may only cover about 60 percent of medical costs.
Getting to Know Your Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan
The best way to find out how much coverage you can get for drug treatment is by going over your policy. Of course, insurance policies can be confusing. Looking over pages of insurance company jargon leaves many people feeling overwhelmed. So how can you get real answers about your addiction treatment coverage? Here are a few options:
- Talk to your human resources department. If you get insurance from your job, someone in human resources can help explain your policy and your entitled benefits. Of course, you may be a little apprehensive speaking to someone at your work about drug treatment.
- Go online. Going to the Blue Cross Blue Shield website and entering your identification number from your medical card will give you access to the benefits and services of your policy.
- Call your provider. If you look at your BCBS member ID card, you will find a phone number that puts you in touch with a customer service representative that can answer your questions.
- Contact your desired treatment facility. If you know where you want to go for drug addiction treatment, contacting an admissions specialist can also be helpful. These staff have experience working with insurance companies. They can find out if your insurance policy covers drug treatment and how much you may have to pay out of pocket.
Of course, policies can change year to year. You want to make sure you have the most recent information about your plan to make an informed decision.
What if your BCBS plan doesn’t cover addiction treatment
If you discover your plan won’t cover addiction treatment, other options may be available. Some facilities offer a sliding scale cost for treatment depending on your income. Others offer scholarships or payment plans.
If you do have large out-of-pocket expenses for drug treatment, don’t use it as an excuse not to get well. Consider treatment as an investment in your future and well-being. After all, how much money have you spend on drugs or alcohol? Think of the money you will save once you finally get clean.