Are you struggling with a drug or alcohol problem? Have you considered going into a rehab center to get the treatment you need? If the answer is yes, we’re here to help. It’s great that you are self-aware enough to realize that you need to get treatment for your addiction. You likely have a lot of questions concerning your program. If you are wondering whether your parents will find out that you are getting drug treatment since you are still on their health insurance, the answer may not be so obvious.
It’s not always very clear how to use your healthcare policy for drug treatment when you are still on your parents’ insurance plan. There will be a few things you will want to do before you sign up for rehab services. Even if you are over the age of 18, you’ll still have to call your insurance carrier and talk to them about the situation. You’ll need to make sure your EOB, or explanation of benefits, is sent to your address and not your parents. Always update your contact information as soon as you can to avoid mix-ups. Your primary care physician, therapist, psychiatrist, and any other health care professional should always have your correct address anyway, so don’t hesitate to call and make sure if you think paperwork will be sent to your parent’s home.
Why Privacy Isn’t a Given
When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, many adult children were allowed to stay with their parents’ insurance plan until they turned 26. If this is the case for you, one parent is the policy holder while you are the adult dependent. However, insurance companies typically send an EOB home after a service has been provided. This helps the policy holder understand exactly what they were billed for during a procedure. Many consumers want to see an EOB to make sure they were not charged for a procedure or test that they never had.
An EOB will include the following information:
• Name of the patient
• Provider’s name
• Type of service, procedure, or test
• Total billed
• The amount that the insurance company pays
• The amount still owed by the policy holder or dependent
Unfortunately, this information makes it harder for an adult dependent to keep their personal information private from their own parents.
What You Can Do
If you are looking to check into a rehab center but don’t want your parents to know, here’s what you should do first:
Figure out the plan you are on
Take a look at your insurance card to figure out the plan that you are on. If you are 18-years-old or older, you should always carry your insurance card with you. Talk to the policy holder if you don’t have one. Once you know who you are insured with, research your coverage. You’ll want to make sure that your insurance covers all or part of your rehab stay. You may be billed for certain services when your plan doesn’t include everything. Call and talk to a representative if you are not sure. The customer service number is usually found on the back of the card, or you can look it up online if you can’t find it. If you don’t wish to call, many insurance websites offer real-time chat sessions with a qualified agent.
Ask questions of your insurer
You’ll want to talk to your insurer concerning your need for privacy. Explain that you want your explanation of benefits sent directly to you and not the policy holder. Emphasize that you want privacy for the care you are seeking. You should also ask what other information will be sent if you check into rehab even if you change your mailing address for the EOB. Ask them if any information will be sent home if you need to fill a prescription with a local pharmacy. Remember, you are here to get answers. If the representative is unsure, ask to speak to a supervisor or try calling back later.
While it can be tricky to keep your rehab stay from your parents when they are the policy holder, it can be done. If you still live with your parents and don’t want them to see your mail, consider opening a P.O. Box at your local post office and have your insurance information sent there instead. You may even wish to talk to your parents about rehab. No, it isn’t an easy conversation, but you may be pleasantly surprised at their reaction! But if you feel that you can’t talk to them about this situation, follow the above steps. Give us a call at 833-497-3812 when you are ready to come in for treatment.