Office of National Drug Control Policy

ONDCP Excel Thirty-Second Row

Action Item Number: 
Action Item Name: 
Enhance Public and Private Insurance Coverage of Addiction Treatment
Action Item Description: 

Federal data show that the majority of uninsured individuals who have substance use disorders have incomes less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty line.

Read more
SAMHSA will educate States on the need to enroll these uninsured Americans in Medicaid, which would expand access to treatment for eligible adolescents and adults. Through its “financing academies” (a technical assistance initiative that builds relationships between State substance abuse agencies, insurance commissioners, and Medicaid directors) and its public statements, SAMHSA will also make State substance abuse treatment providers aware of the opportunities Medicaid presents. To expand resources for treatment in the private sector, the Obama Administration wrote regulations for the parity requirements of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  These regulations, released on January 29, 2010, make clear that plans offering coverage for substance use disorders cannot impose financial requirements or treatment limitations on substance use disorder benefits that are more restrictive than those imposed for medical/surgical benefits. The Administration will aggressively monitor implementation of parity regulations to ensure group health plans and health insurance issuers are in compliance with the new rules.

Lead Agency: