Health Insurance is Failing to Cover Drug Rehab
As an increasing amount of people are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, one would think the health insurance industry would be more open to covering treatment. That’s not the case, according to a recent report by the California Office of the Patient Advocate. In fact, health care plans in California are underwhelming in their treatment coverage for alcohol and drug dependency, according to a recent article.
The Healthcare Quality Report Card takes California’s eight largest HMOs and compares them to each other at the national level. The report covers 38 clinical categories. Less than one out of four people who are abusing drugs or alcohol actually get treatment. The good news is that of those covered who get treatment, more than half of them complete their entire program. Receiving continuous care for substance abuse is key and it is a shame that so many are unable to have it covered.
Only 13 percent of people diagnosed with drug or alcohol addictions get help within 30 days and begin treatment. Yet 92 percent of asthma sufferers get treatment, 87 percent of women have cervical cancer screenings and another 88 percent of diabetics are able to get tested for cholesterol.
Phillip Greer, executive director of the California Treatment Advocacy Foundation says the numbers are so low it is like getting 13 out of 100 right on a test. No teacher would tolerate those numbers but the health insurance industry does. Greer says the low numbers aren’t shocking and that insurance coverage has long left the appropriate treatment of drugs and alcohol in the dust. Even the top insurance plans are guilty.