How Does a Professional Get Treatment and Not Have It Impact His Job? How Does Treatment Show up in Insurance?

Many professional workers are afraid to seek drug and alcohol treatment because of the negative impact they fear it will have on their jobs. Rehabilitation can be a tricky situation for an employee, but it is still necessary for one’s well-being. Drug and alcohol addiction can cause problems such as poor work performance, poor attendance, unfounded mood shifts, and lack of motivation among others. In the worst cases, addiction can cause a person to act outside of his or her character. Against better judgment, employees with drug or alcohol addictions may be inclined to commit criminal acts or defy company policies. Therefore, for an employee, a person who represents an organization and is obligated to act accordingly to fulfill its mission statement, the first priority must be drug and alcohol treatment to end the addiction.

Employee’s Responsibility With Addiction

Whether an employee informs the employer of an addiction is the sole decision of that person. It is highly advisable for an employee to be honest with the employer, especially if that person is on the verge of receiving a termination. Substance addiction is a harsh condition that can affect any person of any social or economic status. Addiction does not make a person an unworthy employee; it makes the person temporarily ill. Employees should treat addiction as they would treat any other illness that could affect their job performance, and let their managers know if they need time off for drug and alcohol treatment.

Employer’s Responsibility With Addiction

The employer’s responsibility to an employee with an addiction problem varies according to the employee’s performance, his or her disciplinary history, and that person’s period of employment. Many employees who have been on their jobs for more than 12 months qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA is a job-protected leave period in which employees can seek help for illnesses, such as for drug and alcohol treatment. An employer cannot fire an employee during such a leave for any circumstances.

The medical profession views drug and alcohol addiction as an illness. Therefore, employees who apply for FMLA leaves to visit rehabilitation centers should obtain approval from their employers and their insurance companies. Employees who receive company benefits can use those benefits to help pay for their drug and alcohol treatment. Such employees can receive a portion of their paychecks from the insurance company while they are receiving help in a drug and alcohol treatment facility. The amount of compensation varies according to the insurance company. Usually, employees receive approximately 70 percent of their paychecks. However, some insurance companies pay employees 77 to 100 percent of their paychecks during short-term leaves. Other insurance companies may have a tiered payment system.

Will the Boss Find out About Addiction Treatment?

Medical providers must abide by privacy policies, and employers can receive high fines and punishments for violating an employee’s personal medical information. However, the patient’s information must travel from the medical facility to the insurance company for billing. Additionally, someone must send the information to the Human Resources Department or the medical benefits coordinator so the employee receives the proper leave benefits. Some people within the work organization will view the employee’s records. However, superiors and co-workers who work directly with the person will not have access to such documents. Therefore, a worker’s job should be intact even after he or she receives treatment for addiction.

How to Get Help for Drug Addiction

Professionals have several options for getting help with drug addiction. One option is contacting the insurance company for a list of covered treatment centers. Another option is calling a referral service to obtain such a list. Finally, the professional person can conduct a solo search with a popular search engine to find local facilities. The facilities will keep the information confidential, and the professional can start receiving drug and alcohol treatment immediately after he or she chooses a treatment facility.

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