Alcohol and drug addiction are serious health concerns that affect millions of people in the United States, as well as their families and friends. It’s estimated that roughly 23 million Americans struggle with some form of substance abuse, and out of this number, 75% report receiving no form of treatment.
The reasons people don’t seek treatment are numerous, but the most common is that they simply don’t think it’s needed, even if alcohol addiction or other problems are having major effects on their lives. Another common reason is that they’re afraid to go to rehab, or they want to deny the problem even when they know it exists.
Some people may also fear that they’ll suffer penalties from their insurance companies if they seek addiction treatment. Fortunately, seeking drug addiction treatment on its own won’t raise your health insurance rates, but a history of alcohol or drug abuse may affect your application process with insurers. Here are some of the most common ways alcohol addiction and other substance use problems can affect your insurance.
Mental health and substance use disorder services are among the 10 essential services covered under the Affordable Care Act. This means people who seek alcohol rehab in Los Angeles, or similar services, don’t have to worry about their health insurance policy rates increasing due to treatment. The ACA also prohibits health insurers from classifying addiction as a pre-existing condition that would allow them to deny coverage or increase premiums. Additionally, most health insurance plans cover treatment plans for addictions, at least to an extent. The amount will depend on whether you have comprehensive coverage.
Generally speaking, most treatment centers will offer residential treatment, outpatient programs, medication/hospitalized supervision, and ongoing support like individual or group therapist appointments, education services, and counselors.
You’ll need to check your insurance coverage to see what treatment options are covered under your plan, but the ACA does prevent your insurance company from charging more for rehab or covering less compared to other treatments. You may be able to get dual diagnosis covered as well, which addresses addiction along with paired mental health issues.
Alcohol addiction is the most common addiction that may lead to increased auto insurance rates. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, either due to alcohol, opiates, or other drugs, your car insurance rates will increase substantially, most likely for years. Naturally, the consequences are worse if you cause a car accident under the influence, and rate increases may make collision coverage unaffordable for you. You may even be dropped altogether from some auto insurance policies if you’re caught driving under the influence. Additionally, if your policy has low limits for your liability coverage, it’s likely that you’ll be sued for property damage, medical expenses, and other damages if an alcohol-related crash exceeds your policy limits.
Fortunately, seeking substance abuse treatment by itself won’t increase your premiums. Maintaining a good driving record and using a cab, Uber, or Lyft if you need to go somewhere after drinking is the best way to stick with a lower premium.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Because of this, having a history of alcohol abuse can easily affect how much you’ll pay for life insurance when applying for a policy. Depending on the severity of the abuse, some companies may deny you coverage altogether.
While this may be concerning, it’s best to be honest on your application because insurers will compare the information your provide them with your medical and driving records. Being convicted of a DUI or having recorded health issues due to alcohol or drug abuse will certainly affect your premiums.
Those struggling with addiction certainly have much more to gain than to lose by seeking out an individualized treatment plan. Long-term sobriety helps people avoid additional health problems and can grant peace of mind.