Advocacy Group: Push for Peer Recovery Support Services in Essential Health Benefits

Recovery groups should advocate for inclusion of peer recovery support services as part of essential health benefits that will be covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Faces & Voices of Recovery. Peer recovery support services are delivered by individuals who have “lived experience” with addiction and recovery.

Faces & Voices of Recovery, an advocacy group, has produced an issue brief that explains how recovery advocates can support inclusion of these non-clinical services that help people achieve long-term recovery from addiction.

The ACA requires states to set up state health insurance exchanges, which will act like marketplaces, where each person can choose a plan that suits them. Through these exchanges, states must offer a core of what are called essential health benefits–services that will be reimbursed or covered by the new exchanges. Services for mental and substance use disorders must be included.  Each state can decide what specific services will be offered.

If peer recovery support services are offered as an essential health benefit, they will be covered by insurance or Medicaid, and organizations that provide the services will be reimbursed for providing the services.

According to Faces & Voices of Recovery, scientific evidence is growing to support the beneficial effects of peer recovery support services. To find out more about how you and your organization can advocate for inclusion of peer recovery support services, visit the Faces & Voices of Recovery website.

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    Gail Chmielewski

    March 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Interesting, for 78 years “peer recovery support” has been a FREE service located in every city and most countries in the world. It is called “sponsorship”. Ever heard of that? How was “peer recovery support” outcomes measured? My guess is that the outcomes are from “sponsorship”.

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    Shelly Marshall

    March 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I’m having a hard time understanding what is going on here? A government advocated takeover of 12 step programs? I reblogged this:

    I have long been a member and supporter of Faces & Voices of Recovery–their main message when they began was to get the faces of people in recovery out into the open so the general public could KNOW we do recover. but this article and the brief have me confused about what Voices & Faces is advocating with the Affordable Care Act.

    What is going on here???? Is Faces and Voices of Recovery advocating for a government takeover of 12 step programs? That’s what I read here. Please someone, prove me wrong. If the providers (ie 12 step groups) should take money for services–we would put our very success in at risk. Or worse–are they saying we should start “fake” anonymous peer groups that take money from government running of the success of the real groups–siphoning prospective members from government health care–members who would normally find the real groups?

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