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Drug And Alcohol Rehabs Covered By Military Insurance in the USA

There are numerous health insurance providers all throughout the United States that provide health insurance for active duty, retired U.S. Military personnel, veterans, and their dependents. Health insurance coverage is always changing, and of course is different from provider to provider. Health insurance coverage for military personnel and veterans has expanded to include drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment services. This changed a great deal due to the increasing problem of active-duty service members and veterans becoming addicted to drugs and or alcohol, or suffering from various forms of substance abuse problems.

Throughout the United States, there are different treatment centers both private and government funded that will accept military personnel health insurance coverage. Each center accepts different forms of coverage as there are so many different insurance providers for active-duty service members and veterans. With health insurance providers expanding their coverage to include drug and alcohol treatment centers it has helped a great number of military personnel, and veterans get the help they need for substance abuse problems. With prescription medications and alcohol abuse being a recurring problem within the military there had to have been measures taken to provide help and support to curb this problem, with one of the measures being expanding health insurance coverage to include the coverage of different forms of drug and alcohol treatment.

The military currently uses a system called Tricare, which comes in three different forms, Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard, and Tricare Extra. Tricare is a part of the Military Health System, which is an organization within the Department of Defense. The Military Health System provides care to retired military personnel of the United States, active-duty personnel, and their dependents. The main goal of the Military Health System is to maintain the health of current military personnel so as missions can be carried out, and to provide health care during wartime. Tricare on the other hand, is more of the benefits and insurance provider for all military personnel, retirees, and their dependents. Tricare was formally known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services and is the civilian care component within the Military Health System that provides insurance and benefits for military personnel, retirees, and all of their dependents. The options within Tricare are the Tricare Standard, which provides benefits for retirees of the military who are 60 or older and their eligible family members.

They can use any civilian health care provider that is payable under Tricare, and are responsible for paying an annual deductable and their coinsurance, along with any out-of-pocket expenses. There is also Tricare Extra, which is available to Tricare Standard beneficiaries to allow access to civilian health care providers within their provider network, and their coinsurance amount is also reduced. Finally, there is Tricare Prime, which is a health maintenance organization that is available to all active-duty members, retirees, and all eligible family members. They can choose a primary doctor, and through this can obtain referrals to organizations that provide specialty care, which could possibly include drug and alcohol treatment.

Unfortunately, there are gaps in coverage; in 2010, there was a reported over one million non-elderly veterans in the United States, who did not have health insurance coverage or access to Veterans Affairs. This can of course, make it very difficult for these individuals to seek out help for substance abuse and addiction problems. Close to 900,000 veterans use the health care provided by Veterans Affairs, but unfortunately have no other coverage, and close to 40% of these men and woman are under the age of 45. When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were brought forward in 2010, it has since been easier for uninsured veterans to now obtain full coverage. As the systems are continually changing, more help is becoming available for members of the military, their families, retirees, and veterans. Because drug and alcohol addiction is no longer really ignored and pushed aside within the military, treatment centers are now equipping themselves to help these individuals. This can be in the form of detox, residential and out-patient care, therapy and counseling, and various other forms of traditional therapy. With health insurance providers extending their care options, it has now become easier for military personnel to acquire the right kind of help for substance abuse and addiction problems.

The United States Veterans Affairs Administration is the public medical care program provided to former military service members. The VA is not a health insurance program yet offers healthcare services for veterans. A veteran can still receive treatment at a VA hospital whether or not they have health insurance. When a veteran has private health insurance, the VA hospital will bill the veteran’s private insurance for services. If for example a veteran does not have health insurance, they can apply for Medicaid at the VA hospital.

Veterans Affairs is essentially the foundation of healthcare treatment for veterans. Yet there are other health insurance programs to help veterans. This does allow veterans to expand treatment access and get the help they need. The VA will contract with non-VA healthcare facilities to ensure the proper help is offered. Per the benefits.gov website, VA healthcare does ensure comprehensive treatment. There are two priority groups for treatment. Priority groups 1 through 3 are veterans who have received disability, former prisoners of war, and Purple Heart or Medal of Honor recipients.

There is also priority groups 4 through 8 which include veterans who have diagnosed chemical exposer. This group includes certain income levels, specific combat statuses, and other diagnosed medical conditions. As mentioned above, Tricare is the private insurance programs for active duty service members and veterans of the US Armed Forces. The VA can help members who are addicted to drugs through hospital inpatient treatment. However, it is Tricare that will cover substance treatment through VA hospitals.

Veterans can also apply to Medicare and Medicaid. Over 1.75 million veterans use Medicaid coverage to some extent. In fact, 2 out of every 5 veterans have Medicaid as their sole coverage for health insurance. Medicare does not provide the same level of comprehensive treatment as a VA hospital does. Essentially some programs are easier to access than others. Veterans who are struggling with addiction should reach out to the VA hospital. It is also important to contact your health insurance provider and find out what coverage you have.

Works Cited – “Tricare”:  (Wikipedia.org)
“Military Health System”:  (Wikipedia.org)