Healthcare Reform and how it Affects Addiction Treatment

When it comes to addiction treatment, there is an ugly fact that many people often times overlook: those in need of professional help slip through the cracks, time and time again, because they don’t have health insurance and are worried about the overall cost of treatment.

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is set to fix this problem once and for all.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Affordable Care Act has added reforms that will make health insurance available to a larger number of people, while also enhancing the quality of care for Americans.

Additionally, the Affordable Care Act includes substance use disorders as one of its many health benefits. In short, this means that all health insurance sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid to certain newly eligible adults starting in 2014 must include services for substance use disorders.

2014 will Bring Serious “Change”

As you can see, in 2014 the landscape for the treatment of addiction is going to change forever.

For those who have faced issues with this in the past, things are going to be much better in the future.

With the inclusion of addiction treatment in the Affordable Care Act, a larger number of health care providers will be able to offer these services while knowing that they will be reimbursed. Subsequently, it only makes sense that a larger number of patients will have access to treatment.

At this point, the Department of Health and Human Services is deciding on which substance abuse services will be included, however, it is safe to say that in the end people with a problem will be able to get the treatment they need without having to be concerned with the financial implications.

2.3 Million People will Receive Treatment

Every year, more than 2.3 million people receive treatment for substance use through specialty care treatment system. While this sounds like a large number, it is important to point out that the National Survey on Drug Use & Health shows that more than 25 million suffer from some sort of substance abuse. In other words, there are more than 20 million people who need help but are not getting it for one reason or the next.

In a recent article by Fox News, Tom McLellan, CEO of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute and former deputy drug czar for the Obama administration, had this to say:

There is no illness currently being treated that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act than addiction. That’s because we have a system of treatment that was built for a time when they didn’t understand that addiction was an illness.

Like many, McLellan feels that the Affordable Care Act is going to change the way addiction is treated forever. The current system, while some may argue does not need changed, was constructed during a time when addiction was not nearly as big a problem as it is today.

This could go a long way.

As long as the thousands of rehab treatment facilities throughout the United States can keep up with the new demand, the Affordable Care Act could go a long way in helping millions of patients get the professional help they need without the financial concerns.

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