Joseph Mastrando is the Director of Operations for the Better Health Wellness mental health facility. One of his primary goals as a director and activist for mental health and recovery is payment assistance.
While insurance sometimes covers addiction recovery, there are many cases where people are left financially stranded. Joseph Mastrando constantly fights to get more insurance coverage across the board. While he is maintaining that fight, he also has some key tips for anyone who is struggling to afford help right now.
If you or a loved one are in a tough spot, these tips are for you.
Check Your Existing Policy
If you do have insurance, then the natural starting point is reviewing your policy. As you likely know, every insurance policy is different. There is a mental health portion of your policy, and it will highlight how coverage works.
This is where you will find network restrictions, copays, deductibles, and all of the rest. This section lays out what is already covered, if anything. So, to the extent that you can, seek help within this coverage outline. It will go a long way toward helping you pay for treatment.
If you have trouble understanding your policy, American Addiction Centers has a resource that will help you check your coverage and what is in your network.
Shop the Open Insurance Market
If you don’t have good coverage, you can look at the insurance open market for your state. This can be a little tricky because you can’t always get a new insurance policy right away. When timing isn’t prohibitive, this is a great way to find better coverage for your specific needs.
The Affordable Care Act requires certain levels of mental health and addiction recovery support from insurance providers on the open market. Switching insurance policies will likely change your monthly payments and overall coverage, so take the time to understand what changes you are making. But when addiction recovery is the most important issue, it’s reasonable to choose a policy around those needs.
Supplement With Government Assistance
The federal government, along with state and local governments, provides some assistance for addiction recovery. The best place to start is the website or phone number of your state’s department of health. You can look through mental health and/or addiction recovery information.
Any assistance available will be listed there, and there are usually ways to contact people within the department to get direct help. Any financial assistance through government programs will have rules and limitations, but if you review them carefully, you might find much-needed help.
Joseph Mastrando Explains SAMHSA
Being in addiction recovery, Joseph Mastrando has worked with SAMHSA many times. This is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration run by the US Department of Health & Human Services.
This division exists specifically to help people get addiction treatment. They have grants that can help pay for services, and they even have a hotline. This is one of your most powerful resources in the search for help.
SAMHSA can help you find information, financial resources, and recovery centers. If you don’t know where to start when looking for help, this is probably the best place. They even have a national helpline that is available 24/7.
Work With the Recovery Center
When all else fails, you can try to work directly with the recovery center for assistance. Some centers offer income-based financial assistance. Others offer flexible payment plans.
When trying to negotiate to get help, the worst thing a center can do is say no. You won’t be any worse off in that case, so it’s worth the time and effort to have these conversations.
Getting help is not always easy, but there are resources available to you and your loved ones. If you take advantage of everything out there, you can typically find enough help to take positive steps forward. Joseph Mastrando wants to see people get the help they need, so he has one final piece of advice. Try taking one step towards help today. It can be any of the tips above, or anything else that you think might work. As long as you take that first step, good things can lie ahead.