Two key pieces of legislation offer new hope for people struggling with addiction, their families, and their communities: the Affordable Care Act, which put in place strong consumer protections, provides new coverage options, and gives you the tools you need to make informed choices about your health; and the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Wellstone-Domenici Act), which ensures that, when mental health and addictions services are offered under an insurance plan, they must be covered as fully as other services, meaning special caps, access barriers, or service limits cannot be applied.
Together, these two laws have the potential to greatly expand access to badly needed addiction treatment and recovery support services. Which is why Faces and Voices of Recovery is working with key stakeholders on the details of how folks will access services, what services will be available, who will deliver them, and how they will be reimbursed. We are part of a broad coalition that is advocating for a continuum of services and supports that will help individuals initiate, stabilize, and manage their own recovery. This range of services includes peer recovery coaching, recovery community centers, and peer-led organizations that offer recovery support services. Work is also being done to include similar services in primary care settings.
These are exciting times. We are on the cusp of a substantial expansion of addiction treatment and recovery support services, and potentially revolutionary changes in how, where, and by whom services are delivered. Faces and Voices of Recovery is proud to be working with others in the addiction and healthcare fields to ensure that individuals who need help can find recovery services, and improve their overall health.This way, health reform will be able to support recovery and wellness in individuals, families, and communities.
Tom Hill is Director of Programs at Faces & Voices of Recovery