844-LifeChange (543-3242)
GET HELP. CALL OUR ADDICTION HELPLINE 844-LifeChange (543-3242)

Millions Purchase Health Insurance with No Addiction or Mental Health Coverage

Cost of Addiction Treatment Can be Devastating

Imagine a family with a drug-addicted son who has struggled for years. The son finally agrees to treatment, but when the family starts the process, they are faced with a $20,000 bill—but with no behavioral health insurance coverage.

Navigating a complicated health care system is difficult enough to find good mental health or addiction treatment. But without mental health and addiction insurance coverage, the process is overwhelming. As many Americans think about enrolling in Obamacare coverage, there is important research necessary when choosing a plan.

It is heartbreaking when lack of coverage stands in the way of restoring an addicted person to a healthy life.

Purchasing health insurance can be overwhelming, especially when plowing through the options if a family member is struggling with mental health or addiction issues. Considerations for buying health insurance generally include age, health history, family members who need coverage and occupational and cancer risks. But one factor that many overlook is the need for addiction and mental health coverage.

Roughly a quarter of Americans will struggle with a drug or alcohol abuse issue in their life.  Sixty-one million American adults struggle with mental health issues every year.

A recent look at health care coverage by U.S. News & World Report found that various Obamacare loopholes have kept many Americans from seeking behavioral health treatment. For example, some states haven’t expanded Medicaid, leaving about 5 million in a coverage gap—many of whom, experts believe, need mental health care.

Many without health insurance, or those who think the process is too difficult to navigate, end up skipping treatment altogether, which can lead to further problems, like job loss, divorce, legal difficulties or even suicide attempts and overdose deaths. The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than $100 billion each year in the U.S., according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

People who are not considering mental health and addiction challenges in their health insurance decisions are setting themselves up for catastrophe. Think of the tens of thousands in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey whose homes were flooded by recent hurricanes, then who realized their coverage did not include flood or water damage. Being without mental health coverage is a definite storm that can wreak havoc not only on a family’s finances but also on psychological health and functioning.

Thankfully, one of the areas our free, 24-hour Lighthouse Network Christian Addiction and Counseling Helpline at 1-844-LIFE-CHANGE (1-844-543-3242) is strong in is searching out low cost addiction and mental health residential treatment options. The majority of them are Christian, but keep their costs low by not having medical services like detox or psychiatric care. They also don’t have licensed therapists to do the talk therapy, but they still provide an important component of treatment, especially for those with poor or no insurance.

Remember, the most effective help will incorporate God’s power and the healing principles of the Holy Bible into the treatment process. Without this Christian component, no amount of rehab, talk therapy, or medication can bring the deep healing and lasting transformation our soul thirsts for.

karl-benzio-1Dr. Karl Benzio MD, Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students about counseling, leadership, parenting, marriage, and conflict resolution skills in traumatized areas like Uganda, Kenya and post-Hussein Iraq. He is currently a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, the Pennsylvania Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and serves on many other social policy task forces. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making and infusing spirituality into treatment. Benzio shares psycho-spiritual insights via his Stepping Stones daily devotional, on his one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” on 425 Christian radio stations and on iDisciple.org.

Email: KBenzio@LighthouseNetwork.org

Twitter: @drkarlb