Older adults face Medicare hurdles for substance use therapy

For the employees on the Senior Restoration Middle in Maplewood, Minnesota, serving to older adults overcome substance use problems is a calling, stated Christine Martinek, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor there. 

Nevertheless it’s a tougher calling when the adults who want therapy are on Medicare.

“Each day, I get telephone calls saying, ‘My dad is 70 years previous and he wants assist.’ However he’s received Medicare, and also you don’t know what number of instances I’ve to inform folks that we are able to’t assist them,” Martinek stated.

For the 52 million People 65 and older, Medicare is a life-saver, offering medical insurance no matter earnings, medical historical past or well being standing. However for the rising variety of older adults who want therapy for an alcohol or drug use dysfunction, the federal program falls woefully quick, in response to specialists, advocates and medical teams.

Not less than 2 % of Medicare beneficiaries 65 or older — about 1 million individuals — had a past-year alcohol or drug use dysfunction between 2015 and 2019, in response to a examine revealed within the American Journal of Preventive Medication in August of 2022. However solely 6 % acquired therapy. Of those that did not obtain therapy, 38 % cited monetary boundaries.

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