Treatment Update: Uninsured Workers, Free Treatment
Households across America are talking about health insurance coverage these days. According to SAMHSA’s 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the most common reason why people with substance use problems do not seek treatment is the
financial burden resulting from a lack of health insurance, insurance without a behavioral health benefit, or insufficient
means to pay for treatment.
Two reports from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies examined data dealing with substance abuse treatment need among uninsured workers as well as free substance abuse treatment.
More than 18.4 million full-time employees age 18 to 64 (15.5 percent of the full-time adult workers in that age range) had no health insurance coverage, according to data averaged for 2007 and 2008.
An estimated 3.0 million uninsured full-time workers (16.3 percent) needed substance use treatment in the past year. Specifically, 13.3 percent needed alcohol use treatment, 5.6 percent needed illicit drug use treatment, and 2.7 percent needed both alcohol and illicit drug use treatment.
But of the uninsured workers who needed substance use treatment in the past year, only 12.6 percent (378,000 persons) received treatment at a specialty facility.
For more, download Substance Use Treatment Need among Uninsured Workers at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/177/177EmpNoInsHTML.pdf.
Read about new SAMHSA data on free treatment.