In the recent past, insurance companies refused to support rehabilitation of patients wanting recovery from drugs or alcohol dependence. But the Affordable Care Act of 2010 changed this, helped by action by the American Medical Association, which legitimized addiction as a recognized disease rather than a personal choice.
Since the AMA recognizes addiction as a healthcare issue, insurance companies often provide for treatment of the disease when “medical need” is established. Under the Affordable Care Act’s provisions toward “quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans,” rehab is now included as a medically necessary treatment method for patients suffering from addiction.
Insurance companies now understand that it’s more cost-effective to treat addiction in the short-term than to suffer ongoing costs that substance abuse creates. Such ongoing expenses are often seen through emergency medical care visits, substance abuse-related communicable diseases and even family stress stemming from addiction. For the entire family’s wellness, most insurance carriers would rather treat addiction through rehab than risk having to treat a series of viral infections, overdoses, hepatitis, heart problems and other ailments common to people who abuse substances and their families.