Does VA Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment?

Posted on May 26th, 2021

  • Does VA Insurance Cover Mental Health and Co-Occurring Disorders?
  • How Do I Get Addiction Treatment Through VA Insurance?
  • Addiction Treatment Designed for Veterans
  • Checking Coverage

If you’re a veteran and are struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. In fact, recent research estimates that approximately 11% of veterans who seek care through VA clinics or hospitals have diagnosable substance use disorders (SUDs).1 The actual number of veterans struggling with addiction and/or co-occurring mental illness is likely higher, as many veterans do not seek out care.

If you or a loved one is a veteran and experiencing addiction and/or a co-occurring mental illness, you may be seeking treatment that’s proven to work—that doesn’t break the bank. There’s good news—VA insurance, which is commonly referred to as VA benefits, typically cover treatment for addiction in some capacity. Although the amount covered may vary depending on your plan type and benefits, at least some portion of your treatment will be covered. To find out what your coverage may be, click here to quickly check your benefits.

After you’ve checked your benefits, you will understand the types of treatment that are available for you as a veteran. Rehabs.com can help you identify treatment options and facilities you can attend as you seek help for your substance abuse or mental health disorder.


Does VA Insurance Cover Mental Health and Co-Occurring Disorders?

As a veteran, you are entitled to a variety of benefits, including your VA health insurance. VA health benefits include standard health benefits, like coverage for visiting a primary care physician or a hospital visit. They also include mental health benefits that provide coverage for substance abuse, mental health, and co-occurring disorders (e.g., addiction and PTSD).

The level of coverage you have may vary, but VA benefits often include coverage for inpatient and residential mental healthcare, outpatient mental health care, substance use disorders, sexual assault and trauma, and specialized services for PTSD.2 VA benefits also often cover programs for homeless, incarcerated, and suicidal veterans.2

Before you seek treatment for your addiction or mental health disorder, be sure to do your due diligence. Check and verify your benefits to ensure adequate coverage. In addition, it’s important that you check whether the facility you intend to receive treatment at is considered to be a covered facility under your benefits. Doing so will prepare you for your potential out-of-pocket costs as facilities that aren’t covered under your benefits may result in higher costs to you.


How Do I Get Addiction Treatment Through VA Insurance?

The first step in getting addiction treatment through your VA benefits is applying for VA healthcare. Click here to apply for VA healthcare—the process is straightforward and shouldn’t take too long.

After you’ve applied for healthcare through the VA, you can take your next steps to obtain treatment for your addiction. Here are the options:

  • Care through a VA clinic—If you have a VA primary care provider, you’ll need to talk to them about your addiction, substance abuse, and/or other mental health disorders. Then, your provider will help you determine what treatment is the best option for you, and will help you book your treatment. In most cases, your VA clinic care for your addiction treatment should be covered under your VA benefits.
  • Care through an outside facility: If you don’t have a VA primary care provider, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your VA benefits to obtain treatment for addiction. To do so, do one of the following steps:

Rehabs.com, an affiliate of American Addiction Centers, is a National Rehabs Directory. This means that it provides you with a compilation of the nation’s top rehab centers for veterans to seek addiction treatment. Use our site to find help that’s close to home and covered under VA benefits.

What if I Have VA Insurance and Another Health Insurance Plan?

Many eligible veterans have VA insurance and another health insurance plan like Medicare, TRICARE, or Medicaid. In some cases, you can use your benefits from the VA in conjunction with your other health insurance plan, but that’s not always the case. In other cases, you may need to use both plans to obtain complete coverage for your treatment, as VA benefits might only cover treatment for addiction and/or mental health disorders if they’re military service-related.4

  • Medicare: This federal health insurance plan provides health coverage to certain individuals, such as those over 65 or those with disabilities.5 Medicare is broken into a few different parts, Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D. Part A is used for hospital insurance (e.g., inpatient stays), Part B is used for medical insurance (e.g., office visits), and Part D is used for prescription drug coverage. It’s important to note that care received at VA facilities isn’t billable to Medicare Part A or Part B plans.5
  • TRICARE: Available to active-duty service members and veterans, and their dependents, TriCare is a private insurance program used by many veterans.6 It provides a wide array of benefits, including mental health benefits like inpatient hospitalization, outpatient treatment, and inpatient substance abuse treatment.7
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal health insurance program that is run by states to provide eligible adults with health coverage. Eligible individuals include low-income adults or families, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, veterans, and pregnant women.8

If you’re part of an eligibility priority group with your VA benefits and are subject to copayments or deductibles, any money that is paid for by a private insurance company may offset these costs.9


Addiction Treatment Designed for Veterans

Those who have served our country deserve the best treatment they can find when they need help. Whether you’re struggling with addiction, mental illness, and/or co-occurring disorder. Rehabs.com will help you find an affordable treatment center near you. What’s more, Rehabs.com makes it easy to find a facility that will accept your VA benefits and any other insurance plan you may have. This may mean your best option for care will be at a VA hospital or clinic, while it could also mean that your best option may be at an American Addiction Centers facility.


Verify Your Benefits at an American Addiction Centers Facility

The cost of alcohol or drug addiction treatment may appear to be an obstacle, but we are here to help. Insurance may cover all or some of your rehab.

Find out if your insurance covers long-term addiction rehabilitation.

Check Online Now

Checking Coverage

We know that checking insurance coverage can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Use this form to quickly check your VA benefits and health coverage. Click here to complete the form now.


Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Substance Use and Military Life DrugFacts.
  2. Veterans Affairs. (2014). Mental Health Care – Health Benefits.
  3. Veterans Affairs. (2020). Substance Use Treatment for Veterans.
  4. Veterans Affairs. (2020). VA Health Care and Other Insurance.
  5. Healthcare.gov. (n.d.). People with Medicare.
  6. TRICARE. (n.d.). TRICARE.
  7. Military Times. (2017). Tricare expands mental health, substance abuse, opioid treatment options.
  8. Medicaid. (n.d.). Medicaid.
  9. Veterans Affairs. (2020). VA Priority Groups.

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