The Affordable Health Care Act considers mental health and substance abuse disorders essential benefits that must be provided by any plan available in the health insurance marketplace.
Even though this legislation makes substance abuse treatment more affordable, the comprehensive costs for residential treatment facilities, halfway houses, individual and family counseling, and the wrap around services that support long-term recovery are extremely expensive. It is important that those seeking help understand what expenses they are responsible for and ensure that their dollars are spent wisely. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS!
- Personal Loans: Before approaching a financial institution, consider asking for help from family or friends. If they are concerned about giving the money directly to you, let them write a check directly to the facility. Make sure you have a written agreement with each family member specifying the amount, interest rate and term. If there is no one in your immediate circle who can lend you the funds, consider a medical credit care. These cards often have a zero-teaser rate which can jump up dramatically when the teaser rate period comes to an end. Your credit score will impact your ability to get a card or personal loan, so be sure you know your score before applying.
- Some treatments are covered. Others are not: Make sure you review your coverage and determine what therapies are covered, what your deductible is, what your co-payments are, and what your maximum out of pocket expenses are. Check with the facility before you commit.
- Addiction treatment centers: Some treatment centers provide financing, either directly or through a third-party lender. Check their rates and read the agreement before you sign. Some centers provide scholarships. Find out what the criteria are and see if you can qualify.
- Treatment center referrals: If you find a center but determine that you are unable to afford the treatment, ask for help. Many facilities have relationships with other lower cost providers and will be happy to make a recommendation for you.
- Tap into your existing assets: You may have equity in your home, cash value in your life insurance policy and retirement accounts available to you. Before you act, be sure you understand the tax consequences and lifestyle implications.
Families battling addiction are in a highly emotional state, often unable to make rationale financial decisions. Nor do they realize that the true cost of recovery goes beyond the initial treatment. Making the wrong financial choices can destroy a family. Get expert advice before you act; speak with a financial professional.
Michael Lewis is the Founder of Tutor Financial Advisors and Chartered Financial Analyst. He offers his services to those in need through a comprehensive plan of manageable action on a part of the recovering individual and their family. Email Michael@tutorfinancial.com to learn more. The Affordable Health Care Act considers mental health and substance abuse disorders essential benefits that must be provided by any plan available in the health insurance marketplace.