Most union workers wonder if their insurance will cover rehab. Does it cover inpatient? Does it cover outpatient? What about out of state treatment? Well, we want to clear things up for you. This post is going to answer the most common questions union workers have:

  • Will I get fired if I tell my union rep about mental health or substance abuse issues?
  • How does disability or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply?
  • How much will my insurance cover?
  • What’s the point of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)?
  • Do you have to go to a treatment center near you where you might be bumping into a lot of people you know? Or, can you go out of state?

We get it, you’re overworked, underpaid, have bills that won’t quit, and city living is the opposite of cheap. On top of that, your work has a brotherhood mentality and everyone is going to know and judge you.

Does this sound familiar? Union member addiction recovery seems out of reach. 

How does someone like you afford help with your drug and alcohol abuse? How can you get treatment if you and your family depend on every paycheck? If you have a job waiting for you, how can you go back with respect?

There are so many questions and you don’t know where to begin. Here at Transitions Recovery, we want to lay it all on the table and give you everything you need to know so that you can begin your journey to recovery.

Fact #1: You Need Help

You can’t focus on the job, you start to forget to do things your boss tells you, you’ve almost had an accident… weekly, and your wife keeps nagging, but how do you begin to bring this up to your union rep? People feel a sense of shame connected to their problem and have trouble working up the courage to take the first step.

We want to be clear that this feeling is normal, but there is no shame in admitting that you need treatment. More often than not, if you avoid that on-the-job accident and get ahead of your addiction, your employer will be happier. Seeking help is respectable and speaks volumes over someone else who goes on hiding their problems.

If the thought of talking to your rep is unbearable, Transitions Recovery can help. We can call your rep and get the necessary information while keeping your name completely confidential. This way, your name stays out of it and you can learn exactly how to proceed within your own employer’s rules.

How does that sound? We do our best to make this process as comfortable as possible because we really do care about you as an individual.

Transitions Recovery has been helping union workers for over 30 years at its inpatient center in Miami Beach. Learn more about our programs on our website.

Fact #2: You Need to Keep Your Job

So you have a steady job, but you also need help. How do you keep your union job while getting the help you need?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employers grant up to 3 months (12 weeks) of leave per year while maintaining all health benefits. While this is generally unpaid, it is up to your employer if they will provide paid leave or not. You can join the recovery program you need without the threat of losing your job and medical benefits in the meantime. So basically, you and your family will remain covered while you are taking the steps to getting your life back.

Not only that, but the Americans with Disabilities Act will also cover individuals with addiction, as long as you have received or are getting treatment. This protects you from any discrimination when you return to work.

I must make it clear that the ADA is not a security blanket or ‘get out of jail free’ card. If you face an incident on the job due to your addiction, you can’t all of a sudden claim that you will sign up for treatment to get out of trouble. If someone notices your actions beforehand, you will be facing the consequences. 

To protect yourself, make the decision to get help before anything might happen.

Fact #3: You Somehow Have to Pay For It

Life as a Union employee can really be a struggle. You might make barely enough to get by and depending on where you live, your cost of living can be very high. When people imagine a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, they can usually see the dollar signs flying out the window.

But think about this. Sooner or later, someone is going to notice your habits. Then, your change of getting fired goes up drastically. How are you going to pay rent or feed your family when you lose your job? The cost doesn’t seem as high now, does it?

In truth, rehab isn’t necessarily going to burn a hole in your wallet. The FMLA Act gives you job security, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be paid during your time off. This is where you may be eligible to apply for disability benefits. If you are approved, this helps to cover the cost of missing wages.

Transitions Recovery does accept insurance. Our treatment is contracted with Cigna, Aetna, Value Options, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mental Health Network and others, along with most private PPO policies. Addiction treatment is generally considered a covered benefit no matter what the addiction may be, as long as this category is covered under your particular provider.  

If you receive insurance through Aetna, you can search by state to see what is covered.

This information is also available through Cigna’s website here.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare have plans that offer in-network benefits to people receiving care outside of the state. These are just a couple of examples, and be sure to check with your provider because every plan is different. This goes for ALL providers.

In addition to this, your union may have programs in effect for employees in recovery from substance abuse. Union member addiction is pretty common. They may have additional payment options or funds set aside for the cost of rehabilitation.

Employee Assisted Programs (EAPs) may be in place at your work. If they are offered, your employer pays for these completely confidential programs. They are designed to help employees dealing with all kinds of personal problems, including substance abuse. In fact, substance abuse the is the reason they exist! These guys can work with your organization to find a treatment plan that will work for you and your employer.

Do note that it’s likely to be less expensive for your employer to pay for treatment than to pay for mistakes made by an employee who is under the influence. If you have any questions regarding your current coverage, give us a call at 1-800-626-1980 and we will be able to help you find out more information. Recovery is an investment, but it doesn’t have to be, financially.

Fact #4: You Live Out of State

Transitions Recovery calls Miami, Florida home. If you are a resident of Florida, you can stop reading here because you don’t live out of state, everyone else, keep going!

To some of you, going to a treatment center out of state might sound appealing. You get to break away from your old surroundings and can focus all of your attention on recovery. To others, an out of state facility means more money and more headache. Not to mention, being away from your family and the familiar can be rough.

Even if you are out of state, you’ll be surprised to learn that your insurance company might still pay for treatment. This all depends on who your insurance group considers in-network. PPO plans tend to have more leniency when it comes to out of state providers.

Yes, we have the draw of warm weather, beaches, and palm trees, but we are much more than that. Here you can meet your addiction face-to-face without the temptations surrounding you as they would in your own home. Not to mention, there is a much lower chance of running into someone you know while you are in rehabilitation. If confidentiality is something that really matters to you, this will ensure that you keep it.

We hope this information was helpful to you in determining if your insurance covers rehab. There is a lot to think about, but it all starts with reaching out. Transitions Recovery is available and ready to hear from you when the time is right. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 1-800-626-1980. Be proactive and meet you addiction head-on.