Are Methadone Clinics Free?
Unless a person has good health care coverage, it can be all but impossible to pay methadone clinic costs out-of-pocket and get the necessary treatment for an opiate addiction. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the costs involved with drug treatment account for why so many people forego seeking needed help. Even in cases where a person does carry health insurance, not all plans offer coverage for substance abuse treatment.
All things considered, data collected in 2007 shows as much as 60 percent of drug treatment admissions had no form of health insurance coverage whatsoever. Fortunately, federal and state governments recognize the growing problem of substance abuse in the United States. While finding free methadone clinic treatment may take some research, low-cost, government-subsidized programs try to make methadone clinic treatment costs easier to bear.
Public funding for methadone clinic treatment costs comes in different forms from various funding sources, some of which include:
- State block grants
- Non-profit agencies
Free methadone clinics typically receive funding from state block grants issued through the federal government. Since these programs offer free treatment, waiting lists to actually enter a program can be fairly long. Funding availability for any one state can vary from year to year since each state does have to pick up some of the tab and must fit these costs inside their annual budgets.
Medicaid health insurance offers the next closest version of free to low-cost methadone clinic treatment, though co-pay amounts may still be required depending on a person’s financial situation. Non-profit community action agencies may also cover the costs for a methadone clinic, though like state block grants, funding availability can vary from year to year. Waiting list times may be long as well.
Health Insurance Coverage Options
As of 2014, the provisions put in place by the Affordable Care Act will become active. This means people who have health insurance through their employer and those who have individual health plans will see an increase in benefit coverages. Prior to 2014, mental health and substance abuse treatment benefits often had to be purchased separately.
Once the 2014 provisions become active, plan participants receive benefit coverage for substance abuse treatment that, at the very least, equals policy coverage amounts for other types of medical care. While this may not eliminate methadone clinic costs in their entirety, additional insurance benefits can definitely cover a considerable amount of the total cost.
People who fall within a low-income category can often qualify for Medicaid insurance coverage. Depending on a person’s financial condition, co-pay, out-of-pocket costs may be required before Medicaid covers methadone clinic costs.
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, people who were otherwise ineligible for Medicaid may be able to qualify for coverage. As Medicaid requirements vary from state to state, it’s always best to check with your local public assistance agency for details.
The Affordable Care Act provisions also make substance abuse treatment benefits available to Medicare recipients. This added benefit can really make a difference for someone living on a fixed income.