What Rehab Insurance Options Are Available for Low-Income Patients?

What Rehab Insurance Options Are Available for Low-Income Patients?

Low-income individuals may be eligible for income-based public insurance

When people become ill, they often find themselves financially challenged. The limitations that an illness places on employment and income can increase the difficulty of paying for medical care. The problem may be compounded for those who suffer from addiction because of the amount of money that is generally spent to purchase alcohol or drugs like Xanax. Insurance can help offset the cost of care, so it is wise for those with low incomes to be aware of insurance options.

Public versus Private Health Insurance

Health insurance can be categorized in many ways. A basic distinction is whether it is public or private. The medical website WebMD explains that private insurance is often provided by an employer or other organization. It is also possible for people to buy individual plans on the private market. Public insurance, on the other hand, is offered through the government. The most well known public insurance programs are Medicaid and Medicare, but individual states also offer coverage through other means.

Medicaid is the most common income-based health insurance program. The website Medicaid.gov notes that Medicaid and CHIP (Medicaid for children) provides coverage to nearly 60 million Americans. Eligibility for Medicaid varies by state. The federal government mandates coverage for certain groups of people and gives states flexibility to cover others.

Often eligibility for Medicaid is calculated using the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as a guideline. States may offer coverage to individuals making a certain percentage of or above the FPL. Other states set income standards not based on federal levels. Financial assets other than income are also considered when determining Medicaid eligibility.

Individuals not eligible for public health insurance must look for options in the private market. These options include group insurance and individual policies. Group policies tend to have smaller deductibles and a wider range of benefits. Although group policies are generally offered through an employer, it is sometimes possible to get group insurance through another organization. A 2011 Fox Business article notes that some states allow groups of two business owners to purchase insurance for only one person, if the other has insurance from another source. The article also notes that group insurance may be offered through association or membership organizations such as the Gasoline Retailers Association or AARP.

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

Individual policies have tended to be more expensive to purchase than group policies. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, in part, to address that issue. The legislation aims to make insurance more affordable in the following ways:

  • Providing a range of options – Plans sold through the ACA Marketplace are categorized as bronze, silver, gold or platinum. Bronze are the least expensive plans and cover about 60% of healthcare costs. Platinum are the most expensive and pay for about 90% of healthcare costs. Individuals who are under 30 years old or have a hardship exemption may buy catastrophic plans. These cover less than 60% of healthcare costs. Although the degree to which they are covered varies, all plans sold in the Marketplace must cover certain essential benefits including addiction treatment.
  • Charging income-based premiums – People whose income falls within a certain range are eligible for subsidies, which reduce rates on insurance premiums for policies sold on the ACA Marketplace. The Healthcare.gov website contains a chart which indicates that for 2014, reduced rates are available for individuals with incomes between $11,490 and $45,960. The range is $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of four. To qualify individuals must be ineligible for coverage through a government or employer-sponsored plan.
  • Lowering out-of-pocket costs based on income – Individuals with an income between $11,490 and $28,725 may qualify for both reduced premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. For a family of four, the range is $23,550 to $58,875. Out-of-pocket costs include deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. To receive out-of-pocket savings, individuals must choose policies in the silver category.

Health Savings Accounts

Insurance policies generally balance deductibles and premiums. Those that charge lower monthly rates tend to have higher deductibles. Higher deductibles can sometimes be managed by the use of health savings accounts (HSAs). HSAs are personal savings accounts with tax advantages. Funds contributed to HSAs continue to grow and will always belong to the individual who uses them, even if an employer contributed to the account and the individual changed jobs.

Let Us Help

If you have questions about addiction treatment for drugs like Xanax, including those about insurance coverage, give us a call. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day. If you are looking for treatment, we can help you find a program that meets your needs. We can also check the coverage offered by your existing insurance policy if you wish. Call now, and let us help you find your recovery path.

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If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.