What to do if You’re Furloughed and Need Treatment

This is an extremely uncertain time for a lot of people around the nation right now. What can make this time even more challenging is if you find yourself struggling with substance use disorder and in-need of treatment, but you’ve been furloughed or laid off by your employer. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about seeking treatment for some time now, but your job has been a barrier. If you’re currently furloughed this may be the best time for you to enter treatment for substance abuse.

Step One – Do you still have insurance?
Some employers are offering to continue health insurance coverage even during the layoff period. If you have a Human Resources department, reach out to them to find out what’s happening with your insurance. If you don’t have a Human Resources department or contact, reach out to your supervisor to find out who is best to speak with about your health insurance options. You do not need to disclose to anyone that you are seeking substance abuse treatment, you’re just collecting basic information about your health insurance benefits, which is your right to know as an employee.

Step Two – What if I don’t have insurance during the furlough?
If your employer informs you that they won’t be continuing health insurance coverage during the furlough, ask them about the option to COBRA your current policy. COBRA is a benefit that allows employees to continue health insurance coverage after leaving employment. To find out your eligibility for COBRA, ask your employer if they can provide you with information in how to apply for this benefit. Most employers automatically mail the information to you, but if you ask ahead of time, they might be able to expedite the information to get it to you sooner.
In addition to COBRA, you can also look into a Marketplace insurance policy to cover you until you return to work. Check out https://www.healthcare.gov/ to view the options available in the marketplace.

Step Three – Finding a Treatment Provider
For more information on how to find a good treatment center, check out previous blog that outlines useful information here. The main takeaway from the blog is that looking for a quality treatment provider is important. The blog outlines what characterizes a treatment center as quality, and some important things to look for in your search.

Step Four – GO
If you’re considering substance abuse treatment and you’re furloughed from work, right now is the best time to seek help. Do not wait. The withdrawal and detox process can be very complicated, uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening. It’s important to seek treatment in order to have medical and addiction professionals monitor your symptoms and help you navigate what you’re experiencing. You may feel alone and isolated already due to the pandemic, but the fact is that you don’t have to be alone, and in this time you shouldn’t be. Addiction treatment is open and available and if you’re willing, now is a better time to go than ever.
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