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United Healthcare Alcohol Addiction Rehab and Detox Centers Coverage

United Healthcare (UHC) Alcohol Rehab Coverage

Substance abuse is a major issue in the U.S. Approximately 19.4% of adults have used illicit drugs. This percentage goes as high as 60.2% if the statistics include tobacco and alcohol use. All of this results in around 70,000 deaths due to overdose each year.1

If you look at statistics from 2018, there were around 19 million adults who required treatment for substance use disorder (SUD).1 Unfortunately, only around 2% of them actually got the help they needed. One of the main reasons why this many people never got treatment is the lack of funds.2

One of the ways to get the treatment you need is through insurance. While a number of people with insurance have Medicare or Medicaid, many also have private insurance, such as United Healthcare (UHC) healthcare plans.2

United Healthcare is one of the largest insurance providers in the U.S. It offers numerous health benefit programs and has more than 6,500 in-network facilities as of October 2020. One of the services it provides is coverage for substance abuse treatment.3

What’s the Extent of United Healthcare (UHC) Rehab Coverage?

United Healthcare can cover the costs of substance abuse treatment. In fact, UHC has prepared a separate division for those struggling with SUD called United Behavioral Health. This is a special division that can help people struggling with various mental health issues, including substance abuse.4

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires all insurance providers to offer the same coverage for mental health conditions, including SUD, as they would for medical issues and emergencies. This means that the United Healthcare (UHC) mental health coverage is available to struggling individuals.5

SUD treatment isn’t the same for everybody. UHC helps by providing coverage for every part of the journey to recovery. This can include:6,7

What UHC Insurance Coverage Doesn’t Include?

United Healthcare insurance coverage for drug treatment won’t cover everything. While the company’s obliged to cover any medically necessary treatment of SUD, you’ll usually be required to provide a referral from your primary care doctor. Anything not required in the referral won’t be covered. This can include:5,7

  • Non-medical amenities.
  • Holistic care services.
  • Recreation programs.
  • Food delivery.
  • Private treatment services.
  • Alternative therapies.

What’s the Cost of Alcohol Rehab?

The cost of rehab for any substance abuse depends on many factors. This includes the type of services offered and their intensity, how long the treatment lasts, and whether there are any special amenities included, such as same-day admittance or couples’ guidance for partners in need of treatment.8 

If you go to one of the United Healthcare (UHC) substance abuse treatment facilities, your insurance should cover the costs of rehab, either partially or even entirely depending on your plan.7

How Much Is Inpatient Rehab for Alcohol Addiction?

Inpatient or residential treatment can be very effective for people with severe alcohol addiction. They offer 24/7 care which always includes intensive care, safe accommodation, as well as medical attention.6 

Due to all of this, the cost of inpatient alcohol rehab can be rather high. As inpatient programs can last for weeks or even months, these expenses can amount to a significant sum, but there are always options for financing.6

How Much Is Outpatient Rehab for Alcohol Addiction?

Outpatient alcohol rehab usually includes behavioral treatment, but individuals don’t stay at a treatment facility. This type of program includes regular visits to the counselor in either individual or group settings.6

Outpatient therapy will most likely cost less than inpatient as it provides less intensive care and requires fewer resources.6 

How Much Is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for Alcohol Addiction?

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a cross between inpatient and outpatient treatment, as the person can reside in their home while spending most of their day at a treatment center. This is an option that’s usually more expensive than outpatient alcohol rehab, but not as costly as inpatient treatment.6

How Much Is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Alcohol Abuse?

The cost of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be challenging to predict, as medicines used to treat alcohol addiction vary. For example, Naltrexone might help with binge drinking, Acamprosate is a good choice for maintaining abstinence, and Disulfiram can make drinking extremely unpleasant. These medications can vary in price, and they can be used during various parts of treatment.9

How Much Does Alcohol Addiction Cost You & Society?

You might think that the cost of treatment is too high. However, it’s important to consider how much it can cost you if you don’t get the necessary treatment for your alcohol addiction.

When speaking about finances only, alcohol use cost the US economy 249 billion in 2010. This is $807 per person. However, what’s even more important is how alcohol abuse can impact an individual’s life.10

An individual who is abusing alcohol can expect a loss of workplace productivity (and, as such, loss of income), healthcare expenses for treating health problems that have resulted from alcohol abuse, and some might even need to account for possible criminal justice expenses.10

Not just that, but alcohol addiction can alter the way your brain works. Because of this, it’s essential to start treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more extensive care you’ll need, which will result in even greater expenses down the road.11,12

How Long Does United Healthcare Insurance Coverage for Substance Abuse Treatment Last?

Alcohol addiction can be challenging to cure. All forms of SUD are relapsing, and an individual can return to drinking years after treatment. This is why treatment has to be adjusted to incorporate a patient’s individual needs. This also means that the treatment length has to be carefully planned.13

When getting into treatment, a person will undergo an assessment upon admission. During this time, a professional team will determine the proper length of the treatment. There isn’t a set-in-stone rule about how long a treatment program should be.13 

However, principles of successful treatment show that the longer the person stays in treatment, the higher the chances of their full recovery are. In general, patients should stay at least 3 months at a treatment facility.13

If you’d like to know how long your United Healthcare (UHC) addiction treatment nationwide coverage lasts, your best option would be to contact their dedicated helpline and check the extent of your coverage.

United Healthcare (UHC) Outpatient vs. Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Facilities

There are two main types of settings for drug treatment: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient includes intensive treatment in a professional environment, while outpatient treatment allows patients to spend most of their time at home.6

It’s impossible to outright state which program is better, as this is all up to the person’s individual needs. However, inpatient treatment seems to have a better outcome, especially when it comes to alcohol abuse.6,13

Compared to outpatient treatment, inpatient care can offer users:6

  • A better quality of care.
  • Professional treatment ecosystem.
  • A support group of not just professionals but people who are going through the same issues.
  • A more focused environment, without outside distractions. 
  • A sense of accountability.

How Can You Use United Healthcare (UHC) Substance Abuse Coverage?

The process of using the United Healthcare (UHC) coverage nationwide is similar to using any other insurance for substance abuse. The first step is to ask for a referral. You can consult a medical professional such as your behavioral health care provider or your primary care doctor.5

Depending on your UHC healthcare plan, you might be able to make an appointment directly through your behavioral health care provider. If not, you’ll have to contact your primary care doctor first to get a referral.5

Once you get in touch with your provider, they can help you find an in-network United Healthcare-covered rehab that will give you the care you need in line with your coverage plan.6

How to Locate Rehabilitation Centers Covered by United Healthcare (UHC) Insurance?

The best way to locate in-network rehab facilities is to contact the UHC helpline and ask them about your coverage and available treatment programs. Another option is to contact a recognized treatment provider such as American Addiction Centers (AAC). 

The AAC admission navigator team can answer any questions regarding your treatment and verify if your insurance coverage covers treatment at their facilities. While on the phone, you can ask about any additional information you might need, such as whether your stay will be confidential or whether they’ll assess you for any co-occurring disorders.

AAC has many leading treatment centers nationwide, so you can find:

These centers accept most payment options, including United Healthcare insurance. If you’re looking for some of the best and most recognized treatment centers, this is a good place to start.

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