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Table of Contents

Contributors & Editors

Susana Spiegel

Recovery Writer and Advocate

Last Update on February 6, 2024

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Understanding insurance coverage is essential but can be challenging for anyone considering inpatient rehab, a vital step in the journey towards recovery from addiction or mental health challenges.

You’ll need to find a rehab center that accepts Carelon health insurance to begin on the path to recovery. 

Understanding Addiction Inpatient Rehab

Addiction inpatient facilities provide 24/7 structured care for patients working to overcome substance addictions like alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and other drugs. Treatment components include:

  • Medically-managed detox to safely withdraw from substances
  • Individual and group counseling sessions – typically 30-60 minutes each
  • Behavioral therapy to develop healthy coping mechanisms
  • Education on addiction and recovery principles
  • Post-discharge transition planning

Overview of Carelon’s Substance Use Disorder Coverage

Carelon aims to increase access to addiction treatment by covering detox services, some inpatient care, and outpatient programs. The exact coverage depends on the plan type and benefits selected. Carelon has Silver, Gold, and Platinum plan options covering substance abuse treatment to different extents. Members can call dedicated helplines to clarify questions about benefits.


Are there annual caps on rehab days covered?

Many Carelon plans cap the number of inpatient rehab days covered per year, often 30-60 days. Always check your specific plan details.

Key takeaways

Carelon’s Inpatient Addiction Rehab Coverage

Carelon covers addiction-focused inpatient rehab for a limited number of days per year for members meeting clinical medical necessity criteria. To qualify, facilities must provide round-the-clock psychiatric and medical care alongside counseling/therapy. Stays average 1-2 weeks.

Detailed Covered Services:

  • Medication-assisted detoxification to ease withdrawal
  • Individual psychotherapy from licensed mental health counselors
  • Group talk therapy focused on recovery strategies
  • Addiction education on drug effects, relapse prevention
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment like mental health services
  • Discharge coordination ensures transitions to outpatient rehab

Specific eligibility criteria:

Typical Carelon criteria for inpatient addiction rehab coverage require members to demonstrate aspects like:

  • Documented history of failed outpatient addiction treatment attempts
  • Presence of co-occurring medical or mental health issues
  • High risk of relapse or continued use without 24/7 support
  • Detox required due to substance type or withdrawal risk factors
  • Determined to be a danger to self or others without supervised care

Carelon usually requires 1-2 criteria to be met through chart documentation.

The prior authorization process:

To obtain Carelon coverage, members and admitting facilities submit the following:

  • Comprehensive intake assessments
  • Treatment plans to list clinical goals
  • Physician support letters
  • Proof of the need for medical/psychiatric monitoring

Carelon’s Utilization Management team reviews for authorization.

Limitations and Exclusions

Carelon places several limitations around inpatient addiction rehab coverage, including:

  • Capping the maximum covered days annually, often at 30 days
  • Requiring the use of certified in-network facilities with existing care contracts
  • Excluding room & board costs above standard rates at luxury/amenity rehab centers
  • Denying claims for care deemed primarily providing custodial supervision rather than intensive medical, psychiatric, and therapeutic treatment
  • Not covering experimental or investigational interventions
  • Restricting conditions covered to substance abuse diagnoses only

These limitations aim to control utilization and costs but can pose barriers to families hoping to access specific addiction treatment programs or facilities.

Common Exclusion Examples

Specific reasons Carelon may deny inpatient addiction rehab coverage include:

  • Lacking qualifying current substance dependency diagnosis
  • Previous rehab stays within the last 12 months already utilized the annual limit
  • Admissions without proper intake assessment and prior authorization obtained
  • Stays primarily providing housing, meals, and recreational activities
  • Unaccredited programs or grossly excessive treatment durations


Does my hospital stay qualify me for coverage?

For inpatient rehab coverage, Carelon usually requires you to have had a prior acute hospitalization of 3+ days related to the condition requiring rehab. Talk to Carelon to confirm.

Appealing Denied Claims

Members who receive addiction rehab coverage denials have the right to initiate appeals within 180 days of adverse determinations. Typical documents required when filing appeals include:

  • Chart notes demonstrating qualifying diagnoses, detox needs, withdrawal history, etc.
  • Failed outpatient treatment attempt records
  • Risk assessments indicating high relapse likelihood without 24/7 structured care
  • Written support letters from referring physicians, therapists, etc.

Highlighting aspects like dual medical diagnoses, risk factors, prior rehab efforts, or functional deficits from addiction can help demonstrate the medical necessity required on appeal reviews. Support from the treatment team will strengthen the member’s case.

Navigating the Path to Treatment

Understanding insurers like Carelon’s specific policies around addiction inpatient rehab is essential for accessing treatment. By following prior authorization protocols closely and leveraging provider assessments, individuals can optimize their chances of securing coverage at treatment centers that take Carelon. 

  • Medical detox
  • Psychiatric care
  • Round-the-clock nursing
  • Intensive group and individual counseling

With Carelon’s coverage, completing Cornerstone’s accredited treatment program can provide struggling members their best chance at achieving lasting sobriety. As always, discussing insurance benefits with Cornerstone’s admissions coordinators and Carelon representatives can clarify the ideal pathway to treatment.


Can I go to any rehab facility I want?

Carleton has an extensive network of contracted rehab facilities but typically won’t cover stays at out-of-network facilities unless medically necessary. Check their provider search tool to find in-network options.

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Author & Reviewers

susana spiegel recovery writer and SEO expert

Susana is a recovery writer and advocate with over 8 years in addiction recovery. She is passionate about sharing accurate and helpful information about mental health, addiction, and recovery. She holds a Bachelor’s in Christian Studies from Grand Canyon University and has over 7 years of working in the addiction field. 

lionel estrada lisac clinical director

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges; he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues.

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