Does Highmark Cover Rehab Treatment?

Highmark is a leading health insurance provider in the United States, offering a wide range of plans and services. As a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliate, Highmark is committed to providing comprehensive coverage to its members, which may include rehab treatment.

By Rosewood Recovery Team
July 10, 2024

Does Highmark Cover Rehab Treatment?

When faced with the need for addiction or substance abuse treatment, one of the main concerns is the cost of rehab and whether insurance will cover it. For those with Highmark insurance, this article will explore the extent of coverage for rehab treatment and provide guidance on navigating the process.

Understanding Highmark Insurance

Highmark is a leading health insurance provider in the United States, offering a wide range of plans and services. As a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliate, Highmark is committed to providing comprehensive coverage to its members, which may include rehab treatment.

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Types of Rehab Treatment Covered by Highmark

Highmark offers various levels of coverage, depending on the specific plan. Many Highmark plans provide coverage for the following rehab treatments:

  1. Inpatient Rehab: This type of treatment involves a residential stay at a treatment facility where patients receive round-the-clock care from medical professionals.
  2. Outpatient Rehab: Outpatient treatment allows patients to receive care while living at home, attending therapy sessions, and participating in support groups.
  3. Detoxification Services: Detox is an essential step in the recovery process, helping individuals safely withdraw from substances under medical supervision.
  4. Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): PHPs are a step down from inpatient treatment, providing intensive therapy and support while allowing patients to return home each night.
  5. Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): IOPs offer a more structured outpatient experience, with a higher level of care than traditional outpatient programs.

It's essential to review your specific Highmark plan to determine the exact coverage for rehab treatment.

Factors Affecting Rehab Coverage

Several factors can affect the extent of rehab treatment coverage provided by Highmark:

  • Plan type: Highmark offers different plan levels, with varying degrees of coverage for rehab treatment. For example, a more comprehensive plan may cover more services or have lower out-of-pocket costs.
  • Network providers: Highmark typically covers a higher percentage of costs when you use an in-network facility. However, out-of-network facilities may still be partially covered, depending on your plan.
  • Medical necessity: Highmark will generally cover rehab treatment deemed medically necessary by a healthcare professional. This assessment considers factors like the severity of the addiction and the likelihood of successful recovery with treatment.
  • Pre-authorization: Some Highmark plans may require pre-authorization before covering rehab treatment. This process involves obtaining approval from Highmark before beginning treatment to ensure coverage.

How to Verify Your Highmark Rehab Coverage?

To verify your Highmark coverage for rehab treatment, follow these steps:

  1. Review your plan documents: Look for information on rehab treatment coverage, including inpatient and outpatient services, and any limitations or exclusions.
  2. Contact Highmark: Reach out to Highmark customer service using the phone number on your insurance card. A representative can provide specific information about your plan's coverage for rehab treatment.
  3. Speak with a rehab facility: Many rehab centers have experienced staff who can help verify your insurance benefits and determine your out-of-pocket costs.

Limitations and Caps on Rehab Coverage

While Highmark offers coverage for various rehab treatments, it's crucial to be aware of potential limitations or caps on specific services. These restrictions may vary depending on your plan and can affect out-of-pocket costs.

  1. Duration of treatment: Some Highmark plans may have limits on the length of time covered for rehab treatment, such as a maximum number of days for inpatient stays or a cap on the total number of outpatient sessions.
  2. Annual or lifetime limits: Certain plans might impose annual or lifetime dollar limits on rehab treatment coverage, which could affect long-term care needs.
  3. Co-payments and deductibles: Depending on your plan, you may be required to pay co-payments for each visit or service during your rehab treatment. Additionally, you might need to meet an annual deductible before your insurance begins covering expenses.
  4. Coverage tiers: Highmark might classify different rehab services into coverage tiers, with varying levels of cost-sharing based on the service type. For example, intensive outpatient programs could require higher co-payments than traditional outpatient therapy.

To fully understand any limitations or caps associated with your Highmark plan's rehab coverage, review your policy documents and consult with a Highmark customer service representative or a knowledgeable staff member at your chosen rehab facility.

Finding In-Network Rehab Facilities Accepting Highmark Insurance

To maximize your coverage and minimize out-of-pocket expenses, it's essential to find in-network rehab facilities that accept Highmark insurance. Follow these steps to locate an appropriate treatment center:

1. Use the Highmark Provider Directory

Highmark maintains a provider directory on their website, which allows you to search for in-network rehab facilities. Simply input your location, plan type, and desired service (e.g., substance abuse treatment) to generate a list of nearby options.

2. Contact Your Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician may have recommendations for reputable in-network rehab centers in your area. They can also provide guidance on selecting an appropriate facility based on your specific needs and circumstances.

3. Reach Out to Local Support Groups

Local support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can be valuable resources for finding in-network rehab facilities that accept Highmark insurance. Members of these groups often have firsthand experience with treatment centers and can provide helpful insights.

4. Consult with Potential Rehab Facilities

Once you've identified potential treatment centers, reach out to them directly to confirm their acceptance of Highmark insurance and verify their in-network status. Additionally, inquire about any unique services or programs they offer that may be particularly beneficial for your recovery journey.

Remember that finding an in-network rehab facility is crucial for maximizing your Highmark coverage while minimizing out-of-pocket costs during the treatment process.

Comparing Highmark's Coverage for Various Types of Addiction

Highmark's coverage for rehab treatment extends to a wide range of addiction types, including substance abuse and behavioral addictions. It is important to understand how the coverage may vary depending on the specific addiction being treated.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Highmark typically provides coverage for alcohol addiction treatment, encompassing detoxification services, inpatient and outpatient rehab, as well as intensive support programs like PHPs and IOPs. The extent of coverage will depend on your plan type and the medical necessity of the treatment.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction often requires specialized care, such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using drugs like methadone or buprenorphine to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Highmark usually covers MAT in addition to other standard rehab treatments when deemed medically necessary by a healthcare professional.

Behavioral Addictions Treatment

Highmark also offers coverage for behavioral addictions, such as gambling or internet addiction. These conditions may require unique therapies tailored to address the underlying psychological factors driving addictive behaviors.

Your Highmark plan may cover various forms of therapy, including individual counseling, group therapy sessions, or specialized outpatient programs designed specifically for behavioral addictions.

To determine the coverage available for each type of addiction through your Highmark insurance plan, consult with your policy documents and speak with a Highmark customer service representative.

Additionally, discussing your situation with a qualified healthcare provider can help ensure appropriate care is recommended based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Appealing a Denied Claim for Rehab Treatment

If Highmark denies your claim for rehab treatment, it's essential to understand the steps you can take to appeal the decision. Follow this process to improve your chances of securing coverage:

  1. Review the denial letter: Carefully read the denial letter sent by Highmark, which will explain the reason for denial and provide guidance on appealing the decision. Common reasons for denial may include lack of medical necessity, missing documentation, or exceeding coverage limits.
  2. Gather supporting documentation: Collect any relevant documents that support your case for rehab treatment coverage, such as medical records, letters from healthcare providers, and evidence of prior treatments or interventions.
  3. Compose a letter of appeal: Write a clear and concise letter outlining your reasons for appealing Highmark's decision. Include all pertinent information about your situation and explain why rehab treatment is medically necessary in your case. Attach any supporting documentation to strengthen your argument.
  4. Submit the appeal within the deadline: Highmark typically provides a specific timeframe within which you must submit your appeal (e.g., 60 days from receiving the denial letter). Ensure you submit your appeal within this window to avoid forfeiting your right to challenge the decision.
  5. Follow up with Highmark: After submitting your appeal, regularly follow up with Highmark's customer service department to check on its status and address any additional questions or concerns they may have.
  6. Consider external review: If Highmark upholds their initial decision after reviewing your appeal, you may have the option to request an external review by an independent third party. External review processes vary depending on state regulations and insurance plan specifics; consult with Highmark customer service or refer to your policy documents for more information.

Throughout the appeals process, maintain open communication with both Highmark representatives and healthcare professionals involved in your care. Their expertise and guidance can prove invaluable in strengthening your case for rehab treatment coverage.

Tips for Selecting the Most Appropriate Rehab Facility

Choosing the right rehab facility is crucial for a successful recovery journey. Consider these tips to help you select the most appropriate treatment center based on your individual needs, preferences, and Highmark plan coverage:

  1. Assess your needs: Evaluate the severity of your addiction, any co-occurring mental health conditions, and specific treatment requirements. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine which level of care is most appropriate for your situation.
  2. Consider location: Determine whether you prefer a local rehab facility or if traveling out-of-state may be beneficial for your recovery process. Keep in mind that Highmark may have different coverage levels for in-state and out-of-state facilities.
  3. Check accreditation and licensing: Ensure that the rehab facility is accredited by reputable organizations such as The Joint Commission or CARF International and holds necessary state licenses.
  4. Inquire about treatment approaches: Ask potential rehab facilities about their evidence-based treatment methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or motivational interviewing (MI). Choose a facility that aligns with your personal beliefs and values.
  5. Examine aftercare support: A strong aftercare program can significantly impact long-term recovery success. Look for facilities that offer ongoing support through counseling sessions, alumni groups, or connections to community resources.
  6. Review amenities and services: Depending on your preferences, you may wish to consider facilities offering specialized services like holistic therapies, fitness programs, or family involvement opportunities.
  7. Verify Highmark coverage: Confirm that the rehab facility accepts Highmark insurance and is in-network to minimize out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, double-check any limitations or caps on services covered by your specific plan.

By carefully considering these factors and consulting with healthcare professionals familiar with your unique circumstances, you can select the most appropriate rehab facility tailored to your needs and Highmark plan coverage.


Does Highmark cover rehab treatment for all substances, or only specific ones?

Highmark generally covers rehab treatment for various substance addictions, including alcohol, opioids, and other drugs. Coverage may also extend to behavioral addictions like gambling or internet addiction. However, the specifics of coverage depend on your individual plan and the medical necessity of the treatment.

Are there any pre-treatment requirements I need to meet before Highmark will cover my rehab treatment?

Some Highmark plans may require pre-authorization before covering rehab treatment. Additionally, coverage is typically dependent on a healthcare professional determining that the treatment is medically necessary.

Consult your policy documents and contact Highmark customer service for information regarding any pre-treatment requirements specific to your plan.

Will my Highmark plan cover follow-up care and aftercare services following rehab treatment?

Many Highmark plans provide coverage for follow-up care and aftercare services such as therapy sessions, support groups, and medication management. The extent of coverage depends on your specific plan and the ongoing medical necessity of these services.

Can I choose any rehab facility that accepts insurance, or am I limited to certain facilities with my Highmark plan?

While you can select from a wide range of rehab facilities that accept insurance, it's essential to verify whether they are in-network with your specific Highmark plan. Choosing an in-network facility maximizes your coverage benefits and minimizes out-of-pocket expenses.

How can I find out how much I will need to pay out-of-pocket for my rehab treatment with my Highmark insurance?

To determine your out-of-pocket costs for rehab treatment with your Highmark insurance, review your policy documents for information on co-payments, deductibles, and coverage limits.

Additionally, contact Highmark customer service or consult with a staff member at your chosen rehab facility, who can help verify your benefits and estimate costs.

If I'm not satisfied with my current Highmark plan's rehab coverage, can I switch to a different plan with better coverage?

You may be able to change your Highmark insurance plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period if you experience a qualifying life event (e.g., marriage, birth of a child, job loss). To explore alternative plans with more comprehensive rehab treatment coverage, visit the Highmark website or consult with an insurance agent.


Highmark insurance often covers rehab treatment, but the extent of coverage depends on the specific plan, network providers, and medical necessity. To best understand your coverage, review your plan documents, contact Highmark, and speak with rehab facility staff.

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