Optum/United Behavioral Health

To ensure those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction receive the most efficient treatment, United Health maintains a separate division, United Behavioral Health.

Optum, meanwhile, is a health information technology and services firm that is part of UnitedHealth Group. It provides technological, operational, and consulting solutions and services to individuals, healthcare companies, pharma companies, and Federal and state governments. Its clients include more than 5,000 hospitals, 80,000 physician groups, 60 million individuals and 300 health plans.

In June 2018, Optum partnered with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment services—including specialty programs and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder—to members of Optum’s behavioral health coverage. Eligible members have in-network access to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s national system of care at 14 treatment locations across the U.S.

United Behavioral Health and Addiction

United Behavioral Health provides confidential services for individuals to speak with substance abuse healthcare professionals. Drug and alcohol addiction services included in United Behavioral Health’s policies often consist of:

     Inpatient hospital detox

     Outpatient detox

     Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab

     Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab

Typically, United’s plans offer a range of substance abuse treatment facilities in their networks. Some policies may also have pre-certification requirements, depending on which services are provided and whether the program outpatient or inpatient.

JourneyPure At The River is inpatient, though JourneyPure has nearly a dozen outpatient addiction treatment centers throughout Tennessee.

With a few exceptions, usually on low premium plans, United Health policyholders are covered for substance abuse treatment programs.

Treatment centers do not always need to be in-network, but it’s a good idea to check with a United Healthcare representative to determine one’s out-of-network coverage and their out-of-pocket costs. Some plans require a steeper copay in order to see a provider that is not in-network. Other plans may not cover out-of-network services altogether, leaving you 100 percent responsible for the cost.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment versus Outpatient

Depending on how serious the addiction is, the patient will need to decide whether an inpatient or outpatient treatment center is right for him or her.

Inpatient treatment features residential accommodations, where patients live for 30, 60, or 90-day stints to focus on beating their addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders. It is recommended for those with serious addictions or long-term mental health issues.

An outpatient facility only requires the patient to participate for a number of hours and allows them to leave. Outpatient treatment is suited for people with less serious, short-term addictions.

Verifying Coverage and Finding the Best, Most Appropriate Treatment

Studying up on insurance options can be overwhelming, especially if you or someone you know is suffering from addiction. Of course, knowledgeable advisors are available with United Health. They can verify your insurance coverage and find the best treatment for you. Simply call your insurance provider and ask an informed representative about the details of your individual plan.

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