How United Healthcare (UHC) Insurance Covers Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Alcohol and drug addiction is a major problem in the United States. The statistics of alcohol abuse shows that 60.2% of Americans above 12 years of age (139.8 million) are using some type of illicit substance, with 10.6% developing alcohol abuse disorder.1

There are a plethora of negative consequences of alcohol abuse. In 2019, 10,511 deaths were attributed to drunk driving and approximately 28 – 30 people die every day in an auto accident involving driving under influence. Approximately 48% of the homicides were committed under the influence of alcohol.1 47,500 people die each year as a result of the long-term health consequences of excessive drinking.1

The chronic conditions include alcoholic liver disease, hypertension, alcohol dependence syndrome, alcohol abuse, alcohol-induced psychosis, cardiomyopathy, pancreatitis, nervous system degeneration. Finally, there’s alcohol poisoning that can be fatal.1

Unfortunately, out of 19 million adults that require rehab for substance abuse, only 2% receive the necessary help. The biggest factor that contributes to this negative statistic is financial hardship.2

If you or your loved one are in need of treatment, the best way to seek funding is through insurance. Whereas many people are covered by state-funded insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare, you can also rely on private insurance carriers. For example, many patients are policyholders of United Healthcare (UHC) healthcare plans.2

Being one of the largest insurance carriers in the U.S, United Healthcare can bring you many benefits, with 6,500 facilities in the network by the end of 2020. Treatment for substance abuse is one of the many services included in the coverage.3

United Healthcare (UHC) inpatient drug rehab centers nationwide

What’s the Scope of UHC Alcohol Rehab Coverage?

The costs of your substance abuse treatment will be fully covered by UHC alcohol rehab. On top of that, United Healthcare has a special division devoted to patients that struggle with various types of mental issues, which include substance abuse disorders. The name of this division is United Behavioral Health.4

According to the Mental Health Parity Act, as of 2020, California’s commercial insurers and health plans must fully cover all mental health conditions. This includes substance abuse and co-occurring issues, not only emergency medical conditions. As a result, UHC mental health coverage is available to individuals that struggle with substance addiction and related disorders.5

What Does UHC Addiction Treatment Cover Nationwide?

Treatment for substance use disorder varies from person to person. UnitedHealthcare (UHC) helps by providing coverage for all aspects of recovery. This may include:6

What is Excluded from UHC Coverage for Alcohol Treatment?

United Healthcare addiction treatment will cover the majority of your medical needs, but won’t cover all aspects of your stay in a facility. Before you get covered for the treatment, you’ll be required to provide a referral from your primary care doctor. Anything that’s not listed in the referral will not be covered by the insurer. These additional services may include:7

  • Non-medical amenities, such as fitness centers or pools
  • Food delivery services
  • Recreation programs, such as excursions
  • Private therapy sessions that don’t address SUD or related issues
  • Alternative treatment, and holistic care plans, which fall outside the scope of the SUD treatment

Does United Healthcare (UHC) cover luxury alcohol rehab?

Some individuals might prefer to get treatment at luxury facilities that offer special amenities. Luxury alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs are covered by UnitedHealthcare (UHC). However, non-medical amenities might not be covered. To obtain more precise information about your coverage, contact your insurance provider or a facility’s special hotline for alcohol abuse.7,8

How Much Does Alcohol Rehab Cost?

The cost is typically dictated by the type of services that are offered in the facility and the intensity and duration of the treatment program. The final price will also be affected by the special options that may be included. This might include specialized treatment options for married couples struggling with SUD, support groups for veterans struggling with alcohol abuse disorder, as well as professionally guided same-day admissions.8

United Healthcare (UHC) can cover the cost of rehabilitation at one of the substance abuse treatment facilities. Whether the cost will be fully or partially covered depends on the type of insurance plan.7

Cost of Inpatient Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

Residential or inpatient treatment is known to have effective results in helping people who struggle with severe alcohol abuse disorder. Such facilities offer detoxification, non-stop care, including safe accommodation, intensive care, and regular medical attention.6

Since the level of care is very intense and demanding, the cost is reasonably high. Keep in mind that inpatient plans tend to last for weeks and months, you would need to figure out the financing. This is another reason to consider obtaining an insurance policy for UHC drug abuse treatment.6

Cost of Outpatient Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

The outpatient part of your rehabilitation will focus on behavioral therapy outside of the facility. Once you have completed the inpatient phase of yourr rehabilitation, you will make regular visits to therapy groups or attend individual sessions.6

Since this stage of your recovery will not include the need for ongoing 24/7 care and material resources, you can expect it to cost less.6

Cost of Alcohol Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) denote a merger of outpatient and inpatient modalities of treatment. The patient can sleep at home while spending most of the day under supervision at the treatment facility. By the same token, the cost of this type of treatment will fall be less than inpatient, but more than an outpatient mode of treatment.8,9

Cost of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Every medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is based on individual plans and diagnosis. Alcohol addiction is treated with a number of different medications. This can greatly help you in overcoming the physical aspect of addiction. Whether your treatment will require Disulfiram, Acamprosate, or Naltrexone will affect the final cost of the treatment, as these medications vary in price and are used at different stages of rehabilitation.10

How Much Does Continued Alcohol Abuse Cost?

Many people are reluctant to enter into treatment, as it can be quite costly. Many people tend to ignore their symptoms or deny their addiction. However, you may argue that the actual price of continued substance abuse is far greater. There are numbers that back up this statement, showing that US economy has spent over 249 billion dollars on alcohol use.11,12

When you count in all the negative impact on productivity, lost income, the medical bills it produces, the injuries, car accidents, property damage caused under influence of alcohol, and abuse of other substances, the final price becomes staggeringly high.12

Finally, alcohol abuse disorder is known to negatively impact brain function, which can have debilitating consequences if not addressed in a timely manner. If you delay the start of your treatment, the more costly it would be to get you on your feet. Keep in mind that there are many programs for people that don’t have any insurance plan. Also, there are many rehab facilities that are covered by renowned insurance companies, such as United Healthcare (UHC) nationwide coverage.11,12

UHC Inpatient vs. Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers: What Should I Choose?

There are two general modes of treatment for drug abuse: inpatient and outpatient. Whereas inpatient, or residential mode is focused on providing intensive care in a professional setting, the outpatient treatment allows struggling individuals to spend their free time at their place.6

Although it’s impossible to determine which approach is better, since the choice greatly depends on your unique needs, inpatient treatment is generally considered more effective, especially when helping patients with alcohol abuse disorders.6,13

When you compare it to outpatient approach, inpatient treatment offers many advantages to its users:6

  • Professional therapeutic environment
  • A higher quality of care in general
  • A support group of peers struggling with the same diagnosis
  • A retreat from distractions and tempting situations
  • A clear sense of personal accountability

How to Use United Healthcare (UHC) Insurance for Alcohol Rehab?

If you’re a policyholder of United Healthcare (UHC) coverage nationwide, the process of covering your SUD treatment plan is not that different from other insurance carriers. First and foremost, you need a referral from a medical professional. This can be your selected primary care doctor or a mental healthcare provider.5

In some cases, your UHC healthcare plan might allow you to schedule an appointment directly through a behavioral care professional. If not, you’ll have to contact your primary care doctor first to get a referral.5

Once you find your local provider, they can guide you in selecting the most appropriate in-network United Healthcare-covered rehab facility that will provide you with the treatment is in line with your insurance plan.6

Where Can I Find Alcohol Treatment Providers That Accept United Healthcare (UHC) Insurance?

To be on the safe side, it’s best to call the UHC helpline and inquire about your coverage plan and the availability of treatment options. This way you’ll be able to locate your most suitable in-network rehab facility. An alternative option is to reach out to a well-known treatment provider directly. For example, you may call American Addiction Centers (AAC).

A well-trained and qualified team of admission navigators at AAC is able to answer all of your inquiries about your SUD treatment and run a check on your insurance coverage at their facilities. During the call, you may obtain additional information. For example, you may ask about their admissions policy, how they protect the confidentiality of the treatment, whether they offer short-term drug detox programs, or what to expect during your first weeks in inpatient care for alcohol abuse disorder.

AAC boasts a wide network of effective and renowned treatment centers covered by United Healthcare (UHC) coverage nationwide, including:

  • AdCare Rhode Island Outpatient
  • AdCare Treatment Hospital (MA)
  • River Oaks Treatment Center (FL)
  • Oxford Treatment Center (MS)
  • Recovery First Treatment Center (FL)
  • Sunrise House Treatment Center (NJ), and many more.