New Laws Make Substance Abuse Treatment More Affordable

By Staff Writer

Individuals who struggle with addiction may be concerned that adequate substance abuse treatment is out of their financial reach. They may not have the funds to pay for it out of pocket and worry that their insurance will not cover their treatment.

However, legislation that was passed in 2008 to extend mental health benefits to more people recently took effect. The laws require insurance providers to offer mental health and substance abuse treatment coverage that are just as generous as those included in their medical and surgical plans.

Traditionally, insurers would have separate co-payments for mental health and drug treatment services. Additionally, they often limited the number of office visits that they would cover in a year. However, the new laws restrict these practices.

Katherine Nordal, an executive director at the American Psychological Association, told MSNBC that the new laws could help many individuals who had previously been unable to access care find treatment options that suit their needs.

By making substance abuse treatment more affordable for a greater number of people, there may be fewer roadblocks for addicts who want seek treatment.