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Addiction Treatment Under Obamacare

Posted June 15th, 2016 by Rob Anderson

During all the upheaval and multiple attempted repeals of Obamacare, real changes in Americans’ lives have happened. Those struggling with addiction issues may see many effects with transformations to addiction coverage now in force.

A ‘Sea Change’ in Healthcare as we know it.

Provisions in “Obamacare,” have been implemented. Some of the provisions began taking effect in 2014. For the first time, substance abuse and mental health treatment receive equal emphasis on medical health care reform.

The different view of mental health and addiction disorders are all big differences for addiction coverage in the United States. All health plans approach the coverage of mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits from this point going forward. ACA gave every state an option to expand Medicaid to more low-income families. 25 states, along with Washington, D.C., have implemented Medicaid expansion. A great deal for addiction coverage has grown because the poor population is comprised of a disproportionate number of people struggling with addiction.

ACA specifically addresses substance abuse and dictates which benefits carriers must cover. Obamacare represents a huge step forward in covering addiction treatment. Obamacare bars insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions—including substance abuse. Parity rules mean that insurance plans must cover mental health and substance abuse treatment just like standard medically necessary care.

Parity rules give 32 million Americans access to substance abuse treatment and mental health care. Parity will expand care to some additional 31 million new patients in the coming years.

Before Obamacare, poor people didn’t have access to substance abuse or mental health treatment. Obamacare will help change that. Lower-income people can now get access to health coverage without the criminal judicial system. A disproportionate number people behind bars come from lower-income backgrounds. That is where this type of reform makes a difference. Though, carriers must change to deal with all the additional insured individuals in need of substance abuse care.

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