There is no two ways about it; rehab is expensive which is why when it comes to entering rehab so many people ask, will my medical aid pay?

What you need to understand about the treatment of addiction in South Africa is that addiction is a legitimate disease and most medical aids will, in fact, pay for treatment or pay a portion of the treatment costs.

While the costs of going into rehab tend to be high medical aids in many respects enable a great many individuals to receive high-quality treatment at an affordable rate.

There are certain conditions that come with medical aid cover of treatment.

First, you need to phone your medical aid and ask them if they will pay or co-pay when you enter rehab. You may also want to ask them if they have recommended rehabs that they can send you to, as they are much more likely to pay at those centres.

What do I need?

Your medical aid will need some documentation before they will agree to cover treatment. This includes a letter from a doctor and/or therapist recommending you for rehab and a psychiatric assessment to determine what kind of therapy you need and how much time in primary care, secondary care or tertiary care.

Does my medical aid plan cover addiction treatment?

It often depends on the plan you are on. Basic medical aid plan, you may need to go to a government rehab whereas if you have a very comprehensive medical aid, you may be able to go just about recognised treatment centre.

More About Medical Aids and Treatment

The fact is however that not many people know that their medical aid schemes can cover many of those costs.

The only way to find out whether they will cover the costs of rehab though is to call and ask, and many medical aid schemes may be of the opinion that they have no obligation to pay for rehab. This is not the case and even the government has gotten involved in this to ensure that addicts have options for their own healing.

There are government facilities available to those who need to go into rehab but these tend to be crowded and can be difficult to book space in. A private rehab facility may be the only choice for some and in the case where payment is expected, it is important to contact your particular medical aid and ask, depending on the scheme you are subscribed to, whether they will cover the costs of treatment.

There may also be paperwork that is involved in this, and for those who want their medical aid to pay, there will be a need to get a referral from a doctor and for that doctor to contact the medical aid scheme and make the case for treatment.

Some schemes will only cover part of the cost of treatment and this means that as a person checking in, you may have to cover some of the costs yourself. However, when thinking about this in the long term, it is important to remember that the cost of being addicted and of funding your addiction will be a lot higher than seeking treatment. The short term costs of treatment may seem to be too much but for those who have been addicted to drugs for the long term, especially those that are very expensive, the only viable option is to enter rehab. If this describes a situation you are currently in, you can call a rehab centre to ask for the best advice. Best advice is to see if your medical aid will cover your drug rehab stay before you decide which one to go to.