Blue Cross & Blue Shield Coverage for Drug and Alcohol Detox & Addiction Treatment
Blue Cross & Blue Shield began operations in the early 1900s as an insurance carrier for school teachers, city workers, and union employees. Since that time, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Organization, or BCBS, has become one of the biggest insurance companies in the country.
BCBS is affiliated with a network of drug and alcohol detox programs as well as addiction rehab centers. So if you’re considering detox treatment and need to know if your existing plan can be used to cover treatment costs, it’s highly likely you’ll be able to find a detox program that accepts BCBS coverage.
While Blue Cross & Blue Shield coverage can go a long way towards offsetting your treatment costs, like any form of health insurance, the type of plan you have will determine the extent of your coverage.
Does Blue Cross & Blue Shield Cover Drug & Alcohol Detox?
Blue Cross & Blue Shield plans do cover drug and alcohol detox, though specific coverage benefits depend on how you have your policy set up. This means, 60 percent of treatment costs may be covered under one plan, but the types of services covered can vary from policy to policy.
BCBS plan levels include the following:
- Bronze – covers 60 percent
- Silver – covers 70 percent
- Gold – covers 80 percent
- Platinum – covers 90 percent
Most all BCBS plans cover medical detox, which entails ongoing medical monitoring and medication treatments to help relieve withdrawal distress. Since medical detox can be performed within an inpatient and an outpatient setting, coverage benefits can vary depending on the setting or type of program you choose.
Does Blue Cross & Blue Shield Cover Drug & Alcohol Rehab?
Your Blue Cross & Blue Shield plan will likely cover drug and alcohol rehab costs, though, like detox treatment coverage, the types of services covered will depend on what your plan covers. Any one plan policy may cover some or all of the following services:
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Ongoing individual and/or group therapy
- Medication-assisted therapies, such as methadone and Antabuse
- Outpatient treatment
BCBS plans are also categorized according to networks, which include HMOs (Health Management Organization), PPOs (Preferred Provider Organization)and EPOs (Exclusive Provider Organization). In a nutshell, the network your policy belongs to determines which rehab programs can accept your insurance. This may or may not have a bearing on your choice of programs depending on where you live.
How Long Will Blue Cross & Blue Shield Cover Detox Services?
The length of time Blue Cross & Blue Shield will cover detox services depends on the type of plan you have as well as on the types of services any one detox program offers. Since programs offering intensive care, such as inpatient programs, are the most expensive, the length of time your policy will cover treatment may be as short as five to seven days. Then again, if you have one of the more expensive plans, coverage lengths can run considerably longer.
Even if your plan only covers the minimum treatment time, your treatment provider can recommend you transfer to a residential rehab setting to ensure you continue to receive the level of care you need. Since residential rehab costs run lower than inpatient care, there’s a good chance your BCBS plan will cover it.
Does Blue Cross & Blue Shield Provide Coverage for Luxury Detox & Other Non-Essential Benefits?
Luxury detox programs spare no expense when it comes to treatment setting, services offered and day-to-day accommodations. It’s not uncommon for luxury programs to offer one or more of the following services:
- Spa services
- Oceanfront settings
- Gourmet dining
- Alternative therapies, such as equine and energy-based therapies
As a result, these programs are more likely to offer non-essential treatment services than standard-type programs.
Your health insurance plan type ultimately determines your range of choices when it comes to types of detox programs. Whereas the lower-tiered plans, such as Bronze and Silver only cover standard treatment services for minimal durations, the higher-tiered plans cover much more. With the more expensive Blue Cross & Blue Shield plans, such as Gold and Platinum, plan benefits cover some, and in some cases, all luxury program costs.
How Can I Cover the Excess Costs of Detox That Are NOT Covered by Insurance?
For many people, drug and alcohol problems have drained their financial resources over time. Even in cases where a person still manages to keep his or her job, having to pay out-of-pocket health insurance costs can become an obstacle to getting needed treatment help.
Fortunately, many detox and rehab programs will work for you to make the cost of treatment more affordable. While different programs may go about it in different ways, here are some ways a program may help:
- Program grant and scholarship opportunities
- Allow you to make payment arrangements
- Helping you get third-party financing, such as from a bank
- Adjusting treatment costs based on your monthly income