Rehab Centers That Accept COBRA Insurance
Inpatient rehab programs help individuals overcome addiction and other issues in order to rebuild their lives. The intensive nature of the programs, and the deep healing and growth individuals achieve during treatment, is reflected in the cost.
The cost of a rehab program is one of the biggest factors which keep people from seeking addiction treatment. For many, this cost can be greatly reduced or completely covered by private insurance plans.
For individuals who may have recently lost insurance coverage and who are considering a rehab program, this can cause some stress. One of the ways to get rid of this stress and cover addiction treatment at such a difficult time is through the use of COBRA insurance coverage.
What Is COBRA Health Insurance?
COBRA insurance is actually a continuation of a person’s individual healthcare plan. COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, a law passed by Congress.
This law holds that employers offering group health plans to employees must continue to offer coverage for individuals who would not be normally be covered due to situations of job loss or change.
Such situations can include layoffs, changes to employment status (such as from full-time to part-time), or termination (being fired).
How COBRA Insurance Coverage Works
Almost all group health plans are covered by COBRA. This means if you have or had healthcare coverage through a group plan offered by your employer, you are likely eligible to use COBRA.
However, COBRA does have an expiration date. Most coverage offerings range from 18 months to 36 months.
Individuals can use COBRA to cover healthcare costs, including addiction treatment, during a layoff, while looking for a new job, or during other personal situations which affect employment status and benefits.
For those looking to enter addiction treatment, COBRA provides a way to still focus on health needs even if employment has ended or changed.
While employers with 20 or more employees are obligated to offer COBRA coverage for individuals who qualify, they are not obligated to pay the employer portion of the insurance premium they would for full-time, qualifying employees.
In other words, if you lose your insurance coverage and elect to use COBRA, your monthly premium will likely be higher than it was before you lost coverage.
Once you lose your insurance benefits with your employer, they must provide you with notice of a 60-day period to elect COBRA coverage if you so choose.
Does COBRA Insurance Cover Alcohol And Drug Rehab?
COBRA Insurance covers healthcare costs to the same extent as your private insurance plan. Due to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, most group health plans cover addiction treatment.
If your insurance plan covers substance abuse treatment, then COBRA will cover the cost of your rehab program.
In general, alcohol and drug treatment services covered by most private insurance plans include:
- behavioral therapy
- clinical assessments
- dual diagnosis treatment
- inpatient drug rehab programs
- long-term residential treatment
- medically supervised detoxification
- medication-assisted treatment
- mental health care
- short-term residential treatments
- traditional therapies
Which treatments will be used during an individual rehab program depend on the rehab center a person chooses to attend and which services they need. Treatment needs are typically determined by a clinical assessment prior to the start of treatment.
COBRA Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for COBRA, an individual must have been eligible for insurance coverage on the day before a qualifying event ended their coverage.
Qualifying events for COBRA coverage include:
- resigning (quitting)
- being fired
- being laid off
- reducing work hours
Qualifying events count so long as the person did not leave their job for reasons of gross misconduct.
All individuals covered under the insurance plan before the qualifying event will be eligible for COBRA coverage. This includes employee, employee’s spouse, and the employee’s dependent child(ren).
Individuals whose spouse lost coverage for other reasons, such as they became eligible for Medicare, may also qualify for COBRA. Children who lose dependent child status (age out of the plan) may also be eligible.
Remember, employers are only obligated to offer COBRA coverage if they have 20 employees or more at least 50 percent of their business days in a given calendar year.
How To Use Your COBRA Insurance To Pay For Rehab
Using COBRA insurance coverage to pay for rehab can help alleviate many of the stressors associated with treatment costs.
This is especially true if you have lost a job and are dealing with the stress of that as well. In many cases, COBRA will completely cover the cost of addiction treatment.
Before heading to treatment, it’s important to get a full clinical assessment to determine treatment need. This will help treatment specialists work with you to design a rehab program that meets your individual needs.
Once you know which services you will be receiving during your rehab program, you can coordinate with your insurance provider or a treatment specialist to identify which are covered by COBRA, which are not, and what your out-of-pocket cost will be.
Many rehab centers will work with you to determine a payment plan that fits your financial situation. Some may offer plans which lift financial burdens, such as sliding scale fees.
The following are some questions to ask your insurance provider regarding COBRA coverage:
- Does my plan cover inpatient drug rehab?
- Does my plan cover short-term residential treatment? Long-term treatment?
- Is medication-assisted treatment covered?
- Am I required to try outpatient treatment first?
- Are non-traditional therapies covered?
- Is medically supervised detox covered?
- What length of stay is covered?
- What will be my portion of the copay?
- Do I have to stay in-network for coverage?
- If I don’t stay in-network, will my copays be higher?
Finding A Rehab Center That Accepts COBRA Insurance
It’s always important to have insurance figured out before heading to addiction treatment, but it’s an especially good idea to know what’s covered when using COBRA coverage.
Due to the nature of COBRA and how a person qualifies for this type of insurance, it’s best to ensure that coverage is well-established and treatment costs are covered before beginning a rehab program.
In this way, you can avoid any unnecessary stress that comes with the cost of addiction treatment, affording you the opportunity to focus instead on your recovery.
Learn more about rehab centers that accept COBRA insurance coverage by contacting us today.
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- U.S. Department of Labor — COBRA Continuation Health Coverage FAQs