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Does Insurance Cover Rehab: What Veterans Should Know About Outpatient Treatment
May 29, 2019
Does Insurance Cover Rehab or Treatment?
Lots of questions arise when it comes to veterans and treatment. Questions such as “Do I need outpatient treatment?” or “Does insurance cover the costs of rehab?” and many others.
Unfortunately, both mental and physical stress often affect those who have served our nation as members of the armed forces. The pressure of military service and combat puts veterans at an increased risk for substance abuse. Veterans who have seen combat may develop co-occurring disorders, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to addiction to opioids, alcohol or other substances.
Veteran outpatient treatment is often necessary to address these disorders and help begin the healing process. Which, of course, raises questions: does insurance cover rehab? If so, what will do they pay for? What do I need to do? How do I get started?
What else do you need to know as a veteran seeking help?
Substance Abuse Rates
Substance abuse is not uncommon amongst veterans of war.
A study of 600 Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans found that 39 percent screened positive for likely alcohol abuse. Three percent of those veterans screened positive for drug use. And 14 percent showed signs of PTSD.1
Veteran Outpatient Treatment Services
Once they have returned home from service, many veterans struggle to readjust to civilian life. As a result, they may encounter multiple difficulties. These struggles may include financial issues, physical or psychological pain, spousal conflict or employment difficulties.
These stressors can show up as emotional and psychological problems. These problems, in turn, can lead to substance use in an attempt to self-medicate unpleasant symptoms.
Veteran outpatient treatment services are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and through private substance abuse outpatient treatment programs. Both types of treatment options offer pros and cons.
For example, the VA offers treatment services covered by veteran benefits at medical centers throughout the country.2
Wait times to begin treatment at some VA centers can be significant. Also, some clients feel that there is still a stigma attached to addiction. As a result, they might receive better care and assistance at a private veteran outpatient treatment setting.
You may opt to seek treatment on an outpatient basis in a private setting. This option is likely a more accommodating setting compared to the VA program.
You may feel that the best chance for your successful recovery from addiction lies in a veteran outpatient treatment facility that respects your privacy and dignity. Furthermore, you may prefer one that offers cutting-edge treatments to not only support your sobriety, but also to help you lead a more productive life upon your return to society.
Veterans Insurance and Non-VA Providers
Your VA medical benefits program includes mental health and substance abuse care. Also, you should be aware that getting care from a non-VA provider requires authorization by the Non-VA Medical Care Program.3
Acquiring that authorization prior to receiving outpatient care for substance abuse is the key to processing your claims properly for veteran outpatient treatment. You must have this authorization to move quickly.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Veterans Choice Program. It lets you receive temporary health care in your community without it impacting your existing VA benefits.
Using the Veterans Choice Program eliminates two things. First, it eliminates the need for you to wait for an opening in an outpatient clinic. Next, the program gets rid of the need to travel to a VA facility that is not near your home. You must meet certain eligibility requirements to utilize the Choice Program.
Patient-Centered Community Care programs are also available. And they work in much the same way as the Choice Program.
If you are a veteran who is struggling with substance abuse issues or co-occurring disorders, please seek the help you need. Above all, you can begin healing through outpatient treatment at a respected addiction recovery center.
Veterans Looking For Guidance
Are you looking for guidance? Do you need help navigating your journey to sobriety?
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Updates 5/29/19 – Content formatted for better readability; book added.