Simply making the decision to seek treatment or convincing a loved one to get help is extremely difficult and is a process plagued by anxiety and fear. And that’s before you even begin the overwhelming task of choosing the best treatment plan.

Then, as you start to research the wide variety of available facilities or choose between an inpatient or outpatient program, you run smack into a huge road block–cost.

How will you pay for treatment? Will health insurance cover the costs? And what if you don’t have health insurance? What then?

On average, programs can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $21,000. These high costs are extremely discouraging. Not being able to get needed treatment or watching a loved one continue to suffer due to a lack of funds to pay for care can be devastating.           

But here’s some good news: With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, for the first time ever, all health insurance plans must cover mental health and substance use disorder services.

And here’s even better news: The ACA expands Medicaid to include millions more Americans. If you or a loved one hasn’t been able to afford health insurance in the past, joining the program will provide you the opportunity to get the help you need.

Of course, sifting through the many websites and articles about the program and its coverage opportunities can be downright overwhelming. Following is a guide that helps simplify the process by breaking down the information you’ll need into bite-size, easy-to-understand pieces so that you (or a loved one) can start on the path to recovery right away.

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