Can I use insurance to pay for alcohol treatment?

Using Insurance to Pay for Alcohol Treatment

Here’s something you may not know: alcohol use disorder, commonly known as alcoholism or alcohol addiction, is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means two very important things: 1. Self-disclosure that you need help for drinking cannot result in termination, provided you aren’t drunk or drinking at work and 2. You may be able to use your insurance to pay for alcohol treatment. It’s easy to think of alcohol use disorder as a “social issue”; a question of will power; a moral judgment, etc.; however, the reality is that it is a complex neurobiological disease that requires acute and ongoing expert medical care.

Alcohol use disorder’s designation as a medical disease means that it must be, at least in some form, be covered by medical insurance, whether it’s through your employer, a public option or elsewhere. If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction or have fallen into an increasingly problematic pattern of binge drinking, don’t let stigma or money get in the way of getting help. Here are some insights that can help make paying for alcohol use disorder treatment easier with your private insurance resources.

What Kind of Alcoholism Treatment Does My Insurance Pay For?

The exact scope of your coverage will depend on your provider and plan type. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield will have different coverage polices than programs like Aetna or Cigna. Additionally, these companies will have different plan tiers, depending upon their agreements with different employers, and how much companies are willing to spend on these partnerships. One more factor that can affect your level of insurance coverage for alcohol use disorder is the state in which you live. Insurance laws in Texas will differ from that of Florida, Tennessee, Virginia or anywhere else in the United States. Generally speaking, however, insurance covers the following alcohol treatment components:

  • Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal ManagementDetox generally lasts about five to seven days and allows you or your loved one to get help for your acute withdrawal symptoms in a discreet, safe and supportive setting from trained doctors and nurses.
  • Behavioral Rehab – Group therapy, individualized counseling, and supplemental therapies to help you address the root causes and sustaining factors associated with your alcohol use disorder. Based on your individual plan, your provider may cover inpatient, outpatient or PHP.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – Use of certain FDA-approved meds for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorder, such as Vivitrol®, buprenorphine and methadone.

Insurance companies often more readily cover outpatient care because it’s less expensive than inpatient; however, it all depends on what kind of plan you have. 

How Do I Find Out What Type of Alcohol Treatment is Covered by My Insurance?

The best way to identify what type of alcoholism treatment is covered by your insurance is by talking to your provider and the admissions department of the treatment facility you’re considering. They will be able to identify your coverage type and quickly provide a full insurance verification to give you a detailed breakdown of what your company will pay for and what your out-of-pocket cost will be.

Recovery Unplugged is in-network with most major insurance companies, which means we have pre-negotiated rates to make treatment more affordable and accessible for you or your loved one. We offer multiple locations across the country and a full continuum of care for the treatment of alcoholism, including detox and rehab. Don’t let cost or stigma get in the way of you getting the help you need for alcohol use disorder. Your drinking doesn’t have to define you or derail your life. Contact Recovery Unplugged now to start your treatment today.