December 14, 2016
The disparity between the amount of individuals struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and those who have actually received treatment is quite startling. According to a paper titled Defining the Addiction Treatment Gap, “An estimated 23.5 million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and/ or other drugs and need treatment and other supportive services. Unfortunately, only one in 10 of them (2.6 million) receives the treatment they need. The result: a treatment gap of more than 20 million Americans. Lack of insurance, inadequate insurance coverage, and insufficient public funds are the primary reasons for this treatment gap.” This large group of those not receiving treatment has brought about the implementation of several different methods in an attempt to reduce the gap.
The Expansion of Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act
One of such attempts to try and reduce the treatment gap is the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which required states that opted for expanded Medicaid to include substance abuse coverage. The coverage came under the heading of four different tiers of types of substance abuse treatment, which were outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), intensive inpatient, and short/long-term residential, and the state could choose which of these were covered. These four types are the recognized types from the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
The coverage of Medicaid was much more hit or miss before, but even after the expanded eligibility brought on by the ACA, there are still large variations between states for the coverage of substance abuse. There was a study done by the journal of Health Affairs that borne out the disparity of coverage between states. This included some states offering coverage for all types of treatment, and some offering coverage for only certain types. Of course, some treatment is better than none, but states where Medicaid covers only the bare minimum could have a multitude of individuals who are not receiving as comprehensive of care as they need.
With a lack of resources being a primary barrier for those attempting to get into treatment, the coverage from expanded Medicaid can be extremely beneficial. While this is currently in place, whether it will still be extant in the coming years is questionable. There have been discussions within the political world from the Republican lawmakers and President-Elect Trump in regard to the repealing of the ACA and the Medicaid expansion. While this could be beneficial in some aspects, it could very well detriment those now covered and able to attend treatment, as they would be back to square one of no longer having the means to cover treatment. The stripping away of Medicaid expansion will not only detriment those currently covered by it, but as well as the overall battle with opiates in our country. The treatment gap needs to be shrunk and the Medicaid expansion is absolutely a valuable part of doing so.
Finding Treatment for an Addiction
If you or a loved one are seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction, let us assist you in finding the right treatment center today. We know it can be difficult to find a rehab facility that fits everything you or your loved one are looking for, but we can assist with that. We have helped countless individuals and families to find the ideal treatment center. Do not wait, give us a call today and we will help find you or your loved one the perfect private inpatient treatment center.