Over 19.7 million Americans aged 12 or older suffer from a substance use disorder. That is close to 8% of the U.S. population. More than half of people with an opioid use disorder also suffer from some form of alcoholism. In addition, 63,000, or 66%, of overdose deaths in 2016 were from opioids. You do not have to be a statistic. It’s important to know that you do have options for treatment.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 70,000 drug or illicit substance-related deaths each year in the United States. That comes to about 114 per minute. If you or a loved one suffers from a substance use disorder, these statistics are not meant to scare or demoralize you. They are meant to shine a very specific light on a very dark problem.
You are not alone in your struggle. Thousands of people a day decide to seek help for an addiction. You can be one of them.
Choosing to seek help for an addiction is one of the hardest decisions you can make. There are many questions and worries that go along with that decision. It is important to know that you have options. If you or a family member suffers from a substance use disorder, drug or alcohol dependency or an addiction, one of the first questions is whether your insurance will cover the cost of your treatment.
In many instances, insurance covers many of the expenses associated with rehabilitation and treatment. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s federation, made up of 36 insurance companies across the United States, is among those insurance providers who may be able to help.
Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Drug Rehab and Addiction Treatment Costs?
Fortunately, yes. Many of the company’s policies cover part or even all of the cost of rehab and other addiction treatments.
It is important to find out the specifics. The type and amount of coverage for addiction treatment varies by state. One of the other things you should do early on is check your individual policy. This way, you can make sure you have the needed benefits.
Different plans have different levels of coverage. As a result, certain programs may cost you more out of pocket than others. To find out your exact level of coverage, you can call your insurance provider at the number on the back side of your insurance card. Once you have your coverage information, you will be ready to locate a treatment center.
Many rehab facilities are in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Depending on your type of policy, treatment at one of these centers could even be free. Please call today to see how inexpensive addiction treatment can be for you. Doing so will help get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Founded in 1982, the Blue Cross Blue and Shield Association is often referred to as BCBSA or BCBS. It is made up of 36 separate insurance companies across the United States, all of which are independent and locally operated. This federation of companies forms a network called the “Blue System,” which serves over 106 million Americans and their families.
The BCBS Insurance Plans
Though individual plans vary by state, most companies in the Blue System offer four tiers of coverage. From least to most comprehensive, these four tiers of plans are called Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Below is what differentiates each plan from the others.
Silver Tier Plan: Silver Tier covers around 70% of your medical costs, and you cover the remaining 30%. It has a higher monthly payment than the Bronze Tier Plan, but its deductible is lower than Bronze.
Platinum Tier Plan: This is the most comprehensive coverage plan. The Platinum Tier Plan features 90% coverage of your medical costs. It has the highest monthly payment of any plan. However, it also has the lowest deductible.
It is important to note that a small number of states do not offer the Platinum Tier Plan. Check with your BCBS state insurance company to find out if you live in one of these states.
Are There Additional Ways You Can Reduce Addiction Treatment Costs?
The answer is yes. The cost level for each BCBS plan tier is mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Out-of-pocket costs can sometimes be offset by what is called a Cost Sharing Reduction. You qualify for this benefit through a combination of your income level and family size.
If you buy your own insurance, an Advanced Tax Credit Subsidy is another possible cost reduction measure. Your income level and where it is in relation to the Federal Poverty Level, family size and state of residence help determine your eligibility for this benefit.
Please note that your coverage and plan details will vary from state to state. Before making decisions about where to seek treatment, it is best to check the coverage in your state.
How to Check Your Insurance Coverage
There are two ways you can check to see what is covered by your Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan.
1. Locate your Blue Cross Blue Shield Member ID Card. Then, go to the “Member Services” page on the Blue Cross Blue Shield website. On the right, you will see “Find My Local BCBS Company.” Just underneath that, you will see “Search with My Member ID Card.” In the box below that, enter the first three letters or numbers of the Identification Number on your card.
2. You may also find the contact information for your insurance company by going to the Blue Cross Blue Shield member company directory, found here. Scroll down to your state of residence and then click on the correct company. For most companies, this will either take you directly to the member login screen or link you to it through the home page.
After you have logged into your insurance company’s website, you will be able to find the necessary details about your coverage. This information includes a directory of area preferred providers, your prescription drug benefits and co-pay amounts. You will also find a health care cost estimator, which will help you determine and budget your out-of-pocket medical expenses.
For federal employees and those who have retired in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers its Federal Employee Program. You can go to this website to find coverage information if you are already a member or sign up if wish to become one.
You Are Not Always Limited to Your State of Residence or Employment for Your Health Care
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers many different programs, each of which are different based on your state of residence and employment. However, that does not mean you are unable to get help outside of your state. Each company, state plan and coverage tier utilize the same national network of providers.
If it helps you receive the best possible care, you will often be able to attend an addiction treatment center or see a specialist outside of your state as long as that provider is in the BCBS national network. That means people who live in Indiana, for example, can seek treatment in New Hampshire if they have found an in-network facility there that best suits their needs.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Helps You With Several Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Another worry you may come across is whether your Blue Cross Blue Shield plan covers the type of substance use disorder treatment that fits best with your recovery needs. Again, the answer is usually yes, but it is still important to check your state specifics and individual plan. The most important part of this process is not to lose hope and to find the knowledge you need quickly and efficiently. Blue Cross Blue Shield exists to help you do just that.
Many of those suffering from a substance use disorder and its withdrawal symptoms will require medical detoxification, sometimes called detox. This is especial true of patients with an addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines such as anxiety and sleep disorder medication or opioids. Withdrawing on your own can be very dangerous or even fatal. Accordingly, Blue Cross Blue Shield often covers costs associated with these lifesaving detox treatments.
The professionals who treat you, as well as the list of treatment centers you can use, is determined by your plan. Your plan is determined by your state and tier level. For people with a Health Maintenance Organization or HMO plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield only covers you if you go to a facility that is HMO-contracted.
If you have a Preferred Provider Organization or PPO plan, you have more options. You can see a wider variety of in-network specialists at published coverage costs. You may even see a specialist outside of your network at a higher but often partially covered rate.
Once again, understanding your coverage and out-of-pocket responsibilities is vital before entering addiction treatment. Speaking with Blue Cross Blue Shield, checking your plan coverage through its website and utilizing the health care cost estimator is a crucial first step in your recovery.
It is possible that your BCBS insurance plan will only cover a part of your detox, addiction treatment or rehab. That is why it is so important to plan ahead. Communicate early and often with your insurance company. If you are speaking to an individual agent or office, try to communicate with the same person each time. This will help eliminate any confusion and give you the clearest possible answers.
Though these limitations may seem staggering, it is important to remember some good things. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s network of providers and centers is very large. You will often have the option of choosing treatment options from all over the United States. This means that even if the treatment you need is not in your area, you will probably be able to find it somewhere in-network. The large BCBS network and its directory mean selecting providers and treatment centers becomes a much easier process.
The easiest and fastest way to get the addiction treatment you need is to start your search with providers in your immediate area and then branch out.
As you start your journey toward recovery, there will be many difficult choices to make. Finding sobriety is not always easy, but with the easily accessible information and services at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s federation of companies, you have many options that make those tough decisions easier. Remember, you are never alone in this struggle. There are always options. There is always hope.