Saturday, May 24, 2014

Massachusetts Passes Bill To Increase Coverage For Substance Abuse Treatment

English: Seal of the Senate of Massachusetts
English: Seal of the Senate of Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that requires insurance companies to cover drug and alcohol treatment without prior authorization. The act requires insurance companies to cover up to 15 days of Clinical Stabilization Services. It also requires all insurance agencies to reimburse money for substance abuse treatment services provided by a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

State Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan said, “what it comes down to is that we want people to be able to access treatment.” Flanagan ran a special committee which conducted eight hearings over the year that studied the state’s lack of treatment access.

“There was a common theme (at the hearings) that people are being denied access to treatment for a variety of reasons” said Flanagan.

The legislation puts a system in place where qualified professionals can be reimbursed for substance abuse treatment. Senator Stephen M. Brewer stated that although they don’t know how much it will end up costing insurance companies, the cost of not doing anything will be greater.

Brewer argued, “what is the cost to our society of 135 babies being born in March that are addicted to drugs? What does it cost to our trial court system, our DYS system, our mental health system, our society and our education? I would submit it is clearly in the billions of dollars.”

The Senate bill has been sent to the House for consideration. Substance abuse is a serious topic that affects many people in the world, and offering help to those in need is imperative. If you are suffering from addiction, entering into a drug and alcohol treatment center is a wise idea.
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