Workit Health Is Now In-Network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Workit Health’s digital Suboxone treatment program is now covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

If you’re struggling with pain pills or other opioids, finding effective treatment options can feel daunting. At Workit Health, our goal is to make opioid dependency treatment engaging, discreet, and simple to plug into your busy schedule. You don’t have to identify as an “addict” or attend 12-step meetings to join our program, as our program is evidence-based and supportive of all paths to recovery. We’re so proud to now be offering our 100% virtual buprenorphine/naloxone treatment program to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members. Avoid withdrawal from opioid medications and start feeling better without missing work or family time.

Here’s how the program works:

  1. Sign up online or give us a call to verify your coverage.

    Give our care navigators a call at 734-329-5419, option 1, or sign up online by downloading the Workit Health app.

  2. Answer questions about your medical history, and upload a copy of your ID.

    Before your first appointment, you will work through a series of pre-appointment tasks that give your care team information about your history and help us give you the best treatment possible.

  3. Drug test virtually and visit with your care team via video in the Workit app.
  4. Message your recovery coach directly via our app.

    The team will be there for you when you need emotional support or have a stressful day. All of our counselors are compassionate and trained in harm reduction, which means we celebrate positive change.

  5. Join online recovery groups to meet people all over the state.

    Connect with people all in different stages of opioid addiction recovery from all over Michigan, in groups guided by a licensed counselor. Learn from each other, and grow together.

  6. Grow and learn with a personalized curriculum of science-backed courses.

    The Workit Health courses teach you practical skills for recovery, like how to manage cravings, heal relationships in recovery, and recognize negative thinking patterns.

The entire Workit Health opioid addiction program is now in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. If you’re ready to quit but not sure where to start, or ready to switch from your current provider to a more convenient, effective, and evidence-based model of care, give us a call today.

Yes, You Can Stay Sober This Thanksgiving and Christmas

Everything you need to know about staying sober the 2020 holiday season.

Staying sober on holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, or Thanksgiving can be challenging in the best of times, but this year we’re also facing the additional stress of the pandemic. Traditional plans like spending time with family, friends, or support groups may not be possible. For some of us, this may feel like a relief but for others, being alone on holidays is a trigger that leads to drinking and using. 

Many of us will choose to be alone this holiday season, following our state and local guidelines on travel and limiting gatherings. What should you do if your plans have been turned upside down, and you’re scared of drinking or using this holiday season?

Evaluate the risks of holiday events

It’s important to have knowledge around COVID-19 and the risks involved with social gatherings. People have varying degrees of risk tolerance, and understanding what you are comfortable with can help you make plans for this holiday season. The CDC has guidelines for holiday celebrations, which recommend:

  • Understanding COVID infection rates in your own area, and areas attendees may come from
  • Limit the number of attendees, and allow space for social distancing
  • Host gatherings outdoors, or increase ventilation indoors
  • Require guests to wear masks and wash hands frequently

The Georgia Institute of Technology created a risk assessment tool to evaluate the risks of gatherings in your own area. The CDC also explains factors that can increase and decrease risk in detail on their website.

Understanding holiday COVID risk

Another risk to remember: isolation can negatively affect your mental health and sobriety. How can you keep yourself safe, while also honoring your needs for social support?

If after evaluating risk you choose to turn down an invite from family or friends, set a personal boundary (“I’m skipping gatherings this year,” or “I’m avoiding unnecessary travel”) and offer an alternative (“I would love to do a FaceTime call before you sit down to dinner”).

Find ways to connect virtually for Thanksgiving or Christmas

If you’re not able to connect with friends, family, or other peers in-person, technology can ensure you don’t spend the holiday alone. Plan one (or all) of the following virtual get-togethers:

  • Watch a holiday movie virtually: Apps like Netflix Party and Amazon Prime Watch Party allow you to watch a movie with loved ones in different locations. 
  • Livestream your cooking: If you’re a fan of holiday baking or cooking, schedule an afternoon with family and friends to join a Zoom and cook together. Share recipes ahead of time or during the event. At Workit Health, we’re voting on holiday recipes and then planning a Zoom bake-off to cook and share our results.
  • Plan a family history night: Holidays are a time we traditionally connect with family and planning virtual events focused on the family can keep this tradition alive. Share a slideshow of family photos, or ask younger family members to research previous generations and present what they found.
  • Make a mocktail: The narrative of using alcohol to manage pandemic stress seems to be here to stay. If you get FOMO when fancy alcoholic drinks are featured in the news or advertisements, create your own tradition around mocktails. Host a mocktail virtual mocktail happy hour and game night, or experiment and create your own signature holiday mocktail and send the ingredients out as a Christmas gift.

Have tools in mind for when cravings strike this holiday season

If you’re sober and the holidays are a trigger for you, gather tools to help you get through without drinking or using. Some tried and true methods from the Workit team:

  • Rely on your network: Identify three people you feel safe reaching out to who are supportive of your sobriety and add them to your favorites on your phone. If you’re struggling, reach out to one of them via phone or text.
  • Check-in on someone else: One of the best ways to get out of our own heads is to check-in on someone else who might be struggling. If you’re dealing with cravings or having a difficult day, try to reach out to a friend and see how they’re doing. 
  • Distract yourself: Distraction is key to combating cravings. Allow yourself to be distracted by a game on your phone, favorite TV show, or good book when you’re feeling down.
  • Move your body: The mental benefits of exercise are surprising and profound. If you’re experiencing a craving, try to take a 10-minute walk where you focus on your surroundings. If you’re in an area where it’s too cold for walking, try 10 minutes of gentle stretching inside.
  • Play the tape through: A single drink might sound nice, but where does a single drink take you? Will you drink more, or use other substances? Walking yourself through the potential consequences of your drinking or using can help you remember why you’re trying not to pick up in the first place.

Workit Counselor Sherrie Rager, Ph.D. explains, “In an overwhelming time such as 2020 coupled with the difficulty of early recovery, there are a few things this holiday season that are crucial. First, start the day on a positive note. Instead of waking up and letting anxiety take over, begin the day by reciting your favorite quote and think about what you are grateful for. Second, have a plan! Schedule, so you are prepared for what might come up. A routine during this unsettling time that is usually full of community is important. Online support is out there so put that in your schedule. Don’t forget to include self-care in that routine.
Finally, Breath and remember, you are not alone but part of a community!”

Remember, holidays are just another day to take care of yourself. Listen to your own needs and honor them, whether that means filling your calendar with Zoom events and meetings or choosing to not celebrate at all, without guilt. Now is a great time to think about what you enjoy the most from the holidays, and what you could do without. As we’re all building new traditions and habits in the face of COVID-19, there’s never been a better time to make holidays your own.

Celebrating Halloween Sober and Socially Distanced

We have strategies for celebration that will help you stay safe, socially distanced, and sober this year.

Any holiday can be a trigger for those of us in recovery from drug, alcohol, or other addictions. But during a pandemic, when we are more often isolated and stressed, the holidays can feel worse. Whether it’s your first sober Halloween or your fifteenth, this Halloween is the start of what will surely be a unique holiday season for all of us.

We have strategies for celebration that will help you stay safe, socially distanced, and sober this year.

Transform Your Home

If you’re missing the in-person thrills and chills of haunted houses or scary movies in the theatre, focus your time and energy on decorating your home with spooky lights, drawings, decorations, or maybe even a 12-foot gigantic skeleton. You don’t have to be a designer or spend a lot to transform your space, check your local dollar store (while wearing a mask) for spooky decorations or search for free printables and print color copies for a few dollars at your local copy store. 

Get Crafty

New and unique activities can help break up the monotony of staying home most of the time, and give you a much needed screen break from Netflix and Zoom calls. Pick up some pumpkins and spend an evening carving them and baking the seeds, or pick a Halloween-themed recipe and spend a night baking. 

Host a Virtual Halloween Party

When larger gatherings and parties are off the table, Zoom can fill in. Plan your Zoom party around a specific theme like a costume contest or a virtual pumpkin carving. Classic games like charades can be played over Zoom, or if you prefer something more modern, Jackbox games offers online options for a group. Watch a scary movie with your friends over Teleparty, which synchronizes video play and adds group chat. Provide everyone with a list of mocktails ahead of time, and ask them to share which one they prepared.

Take it Outside

The CDC recommends socializing in outdoor spaces where there is better ventilation to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you do plan an in-person Halloween activity, take it outside. If it’s starting to get cold where you live, bundle up and make apple cider to take on a Halloween walk.

2020 has been a rough year. The holidays, which can be difficult in the best of times, will be more difficult for many of us this year. But it’s important to remember that each holiday is just another day. Whether you choose to celebrate or treat it any differently is totally up to you. It’s fine to do absolutely nothing and skip celebrating entirely. If the thought of planning a celebration stresses you out, then skip it. If you’ve had FOMO about holiday events and parties since getting sober, this might be an indication that you want a celebration. Celebration isn’t dependent on drugs or alcohol, it’s a state of mind and a feeling. Find what feels right for you this Halloween, and take that spirit with you into the rest of the holiday season.

Suboxone Treatment in Alaska: What You Need to Know

Looking for Suboxone treatment in Alaska? Simple strategies for finding the best Suboxone doctor for you.

Not sure if Suboxone treatment is for you, or struggling to find help? If you’re an Alaskan struggling with pain pills or heroin, quitting can feel daunting. You may get sick when you stop cold turkey, but not be sure where to go for help with your withdrawal. Medication-assisted treatment like Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) or methadone can help you get through withdrawal and find long-term recovery.

What is medication-assisted treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment refers to medication that used for addiction, commonly to opioids like oxycodone, Percocet, heroin, and fentanyl. Methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone (most commonly known by the popular brand name Suboxone) are the two most commonly used medications for opioid recovery. In addition to using these medications, recovery may include behavioral support such as individual or group therapy or recovery coaching.

Who is able to prescribe methadone and Suboxone in Alaska?

In Alaska, as in all fifty U.S. states, the regulations for treating addiction with methadone and Suboxone vary. Opioid Treatment Programs, commonly known as methadone clinics, dispense methadone in a strictly regulated environment. Opioid Treatment Programs keep and dispense medication on-site, and the federal government monitors these programs with strict regulations. This is why methadone treatment often requires in-person visits daily with little flexibility.

Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is also an effective treatment for opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder, but has less of a potential for misuse than methadone. This means that it is still heavily regulated by the federal government, but able to be prescribed to a local pharmacy. Most Suboxone providers begin with weekly prescriptions as patients stabilize on the medication, and then move to biweekly then monthly scripts.

In order to prescribe Suboxone, a physician or nurse practitioner must have a special waiver. This means that not all doctors are able to prescribe this life-saving medication. At Workit Health, we have clinicians able to prescribe Suboxone in Alaska able to see people virtually, making receiving care simpler than ever.

Other types of medication-assisted treatment can treat other addictions. For example, there is medication to help people quit smoking and medication to help people quit drinking. Workit Health offers at-home alcohol detox, and ongoing naltrexone and acamprosate treatment to Alaskans looking for help with alcohol.

Where can I find Suboxone treatment in Alaska?

In Alaska, there are several options for finding Suboxone treatment. Workit Health serves the entire state with virtual Suboxone care via an easy-to-use app. Members have video visits with their clinicians, join recovery groups, and even drug test virtually through their phones. This type of virtual Suboxone treatment in Alaska does require either a smartphone or a computer and access to the internet. In Alaska, Workit Health accepts Original Medicare, Premera, and LifeWise insurance for this treatment. This Suboxone treatment is available to all residents of Alaska, from Anchorage to Juneau and even the most rural towns.

For Alaskans who don’t live near a pharmacy and are in a more rural area, Workit Health is able to partner with a mail-order pharmacy to send your Suboxone to you. Workit members typically start with weekly visits and weekly prescriptions and then move to biweekly and monthly as time goes on. You can get started with Workit Health’s virtual program in less than 5 minutes, and same week appointments are available. Sign up now.

If you’re not comfortable with receiving care virtually, there are in-person treatment options in Alaska which offer Suboxone treatment. Ideal Option offers in-person Suboxone care in an outpatient setting and has locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, and Wasila. This type of clinic typically requires twice a week visits at first, with visits becoming less frequent as time goes on. Many in-person treatment centers are taking extra precautions in the face of COVID-19.

Opioid treatment programs, more commonly known as methadone clinics, also provide treatment in Alaska. Methadone clinics usually require in-person visits every day but can prescribe Suboxone as an alternative to methadone. AnchorageCTC is a methadone clinic in Anchorage.

The Opioid Epidemic in Alaska

If you’re struggling with opioids, remember you aren’t alone and recovery is possible. From 2010 to 2017, Alaska’s overdose rate from opioids increased 77%. But treatment options are also increasing, and technology is making it easier than every to start your recovery from the privacy of home.

Aetna Rehab & Addiction Treatment

Aetna, one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States, works diligently to meet each patient’s needs. This is especially critical regarding alcohol or drug addiction, specifically on the subject of rehab.

Rehab centers aren’t cheap, so it’s important to determine your coverage options and benefits before committing to a program.

Here’s a breakdown of how your Aetna plan may be able to fund a future rehab stay:

Is Rehab Covered by Aetna?

The short answer is yes. Aetna offers open-access and copay-only health insurance plans that can help patients pay for drug rehabilitation treatment. It’s just a matter of analyzing your specific coverage benefits to see whether your current plan will work.

Aetna is available in all 50 U.S. states and boasts over 46 million active members.

Addiction Treatment Coverage

Aetna takes patient confidentiality seriously, and they have representatives available to answer your questions 24/7.

If you choose to go the online route, you can login to your account anytime and start a chat with a knowledgeable representative. These virtual health assistants can answer general health questions as well as specific inquiries about your plan and access to rehabilitation.

What are some topics you should ask them about?

Do you cover detox services?

Not only should you know if they cover these services, but for how long. Detox can be a massive expense, averaging up to $1,000 per day out of pocket.

The detoxification process is one of the most critical steps along the path to recovery, so it’s important to know how it is offered and covered by your Aetna plan.

Do you have inpatient and/or outpatient rehab?

It’s good to learn about both options so you can plan accordingly. An inpatient rehab experience can be difficult to coordinate around your job but offers the intensive support some need.

Outpatient programs are a little more flexible, but still typically require 10 hours per week of visitation to a nearby treatment center. The process can last up to six months in some cases.

Aetna policies might involve a set copay for both inpatient and outpatient rehab services.

How Many Total Days of Rehab are Covered?

Most treatment programs range from 30 to 90 days. Make sure you are aware of how many days your plan will cover, and determine what the best option will be for you.

Remember, it’s about which program gives you the best chance of long-term success. Many folks with addiction need at least three months to make significant progress.

Plan Specifics

Here are some facts about each Aetna plan level:

High-deductible plans

These plans may offer preventative care options, even before the deductible is met. Plus, coverage through a primary care physician may also be granted at that point.

Copay-only plans

These plans guarantee that costs are only copays, once you’ve paid your deductible. Primary care physician visits and generic drugs are also covered prior to your hitting the deductible mark.

Open-access plans

Here you will be able to choose your doctors, and they won’t require a referral.

What if My Aetna Plan Doesn’t Meet My Rehab Needs?

If you’re still unable to get rehab costs covered by Aetna, reach out to Workit Health to learn about alternative options.

We are here to help you along your path to recovery. Our experienced team has helped countless individuals overcome their alcohol and drug addiction problems. You don’t have to let these abuses cripple your life any longer. Contact our team and seek the treatment you deserve.

No, You’re Not the Only One Losing Steam for Zoom Meetings

Zoom fatigue is a real thing. And for those of us recovering from addiction, learning to make peace with video meetings can be vital to our mental health.

My life has transformed into a series of Zoom links. During work hours, teammates pop in and out of my Zoom in lieu of stopping by a desk. After work, I sometimes only have an hour in the evening before I hop back on for a 12-step meeting. 

Originally, the novelty and convenience of online support groups was thrilling — friends from different states could join meetings together, and people excitedly relayed joining international meetings at the click of a button. But as it’s become clear that there is no end in sight to social distancing, I’ve noticed and heard from others that it’s harder to focus in Zoom meetings, and they’re simply not the same as sitting yourself in a room with a bunch of other folks for support.

If you’re dreading your next Zoom meeting, you’re not alone. Several reasons have been identified as to why online recovery meetings (and online meetings in general) may be more draining than in-person connection, from staring at your own image, to the delay in communication, to the total lack of environmental context in our many, varied relationships. 

Regardless of what may be causing your Zoom fatigue, here are some quick solutions to help you make your next meeting and leave feeling refreshed:

    1. Turn off self-view. If staring at your own face gives you anxiety, Zoom has a feature that allows you to turn off self-view while keeping your camera on so others can see you. Hiding your face can silence your inner critique and give you permission to focus on the speaker.
    2. Turn off the camera entirely. This may not fly for work video calls, but for social meetings like 12-step groups, try turning your video off, giving yourself permission to get comfortable, and listen. Some gender-specific meetings may ask that you have your camera on when you join, but most don’t require it to be on the full meeting.
    3. Give yourself time to transition. Pre-COVID, when we left work and went to visit a group of friends, or went to a meeting hall or church for a support group, the environment changed along with the type of relationship. Now, your environment is the same whether you’re in a board meeting or having a virtual game night. Give yourself a mental break when transitioning from one type of social event to another: take a walk, listen to music, play with a pet or your kids. Set a mood for your recovery or social videoconference in whatever way relaxes you, whether it’s lighting a candle, brewing yourself some tea or coffee, or sitting on your porch.
    4. Commit to leaving work at work. If you’re working at home, the boundaries between work life and home life can become blurred. Try to work in a designated work area, and leave it behind at the end of the day. Set your hours on company systems like Slack, and keep them off your phone. When you join a recovery meeting online, try to close other applications or notes you have left open from your workday on your computer.
    5. Give yourself permission to do something simple during the meeting. An online recovery meeting completed from home is as portable and accessible as a podcast or YouTube channel, so treat it that way. If you need to finish folding your laundry, turn off your camera, put on your headphones, and fold while you attend the meeting. If you need some exercise, go on a walk. Don’t feel like you have to sit and stare at the screen to get the benefits of attending a meeting — you may just be distracted by what you could be doing and find it harder to focus. Remember to choose a simple physical task, and avoid scrolling your phone or browsing the internet.
    6. Find a hobby that will keep your hands busy. When I asked friends how they improve their focus in Zoom meetings, several of them mentioned hobbies like needlepoint and sewing. Sensory activities can stimulate your brain in a way that allows you to focus. Try putting together a puzzle or using a fidget spinner while you listen.
    7. Find other ways to stay connected. Yes, meetings are vital at work and for many of us in recovery, but they’re not the only way to connect. Make a phone call to a friend, start up a weekly email or text thread with your closest recovery posse, take a video exercise class, or meet in a park or a backyard for a socially distanced picnic or chat. 

Remember, we’re all living through a period of prolonged stress with serious disruptions to our regular routines. That in itself will affect our focus and productivity. In the best of times, focus can be challenging. Many of us aren’t able to give 100% right now, and that’s okay. Give what you can to your recovery, and give yourself permission to accept that as okay.

Finding a Suboxone Doctor in New Jersey During COVID-19

If you’re feeling poorly from opioids, a Suboxone doctor may be the person to help you start feeling better.

Finding a Suboxone doctor in New Jersey can be difficult at any time — it gets even harder when you have to find one during a pandemic. If you’ve been taking more pain pills than your doctor prescribed, or you’ve been using heroin, then you’ve likely experienced the unpleasant side effects of opioid withdrawal. You’re not alone in this experience — New Jersey’s use of opioids has been rising in the past few years, like much of the nation.

But there’s good news, as well. Health plans in New Jersey like Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and health professionals are committed to improving access to Suboxone, one of the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder, and the only one of the three which is available at your local pharmacy and helps relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Getting Started with Suboxone Treatment

There are a few simple ways to find Suboxone treatment in New Jersey. First, remember that you’re worth the gold standard of care. You don’t need to do this alone or go cold turkey. You are your own most powerful advocate.

At Workit Health, we have Suboxone doctors in New Jersey who accept both Horizon commercial and Horizon Medicaid plans. The Workit Health program is 100% virtual, including drug testing via the app. This means that you can stay safe during COVID-19 and receive all your care from home. The program includes recovery groups led by a licensed counselor. You can message with a care team in the app, and work through and therapeutic courses. If you’re ready to sign up, get started here.

“Times of stress and isolation can be high risk for people struggling with substance use.”

“Times of stress and isolation can be a high risk for people struggling with substance use. If you worry that the novel coronavirus will affect your treatment, you aren’t alone,” said Chelsea Chang, Workit Counselor in New Jersey. “But Workit Health offers evidence-based treatment just like you’d receive in person, all from the safety and comfort of home.”

Other Ways to Find a Suboxone Provider in New Jersey

If you feel comfortable, you can talk with your current doctor about them prescribing you Suboxone. Some general practitioners now treat addiction as part of their primary care. Some psychiatrists will help you beat your addiction. If you already have a doctor you love, reach out to them. Even if they can’t prescribe Suboxone, they may recommend you to another doctor within their network.

Another resource is TreatmentMatch.org. This online matching system connects clinicians able to prescribe buprenorphine and patients needing care. You can enter some of your information anonymously. Add a few sentences about your history, your insurance type, and the type of Suboxone treatment you are seeking. Providers within your area will get a notification that someone is seeking treatment. They can review your profile and send you their information. It’s up to you to then review the matches, and reach out to any that look good to you to see if they’re accepting new patients.

Why Is It Hard to Find a Buprenorphine/Naloxone Doctor in New Jersey?

If you’re struggling to find quality care, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong. Buprenorphine/naloxone (the medication is popularly known by the brand name Suboxone) is regulated by the DEA. Each doctor who prescribes Suboxone is required to receive a waiver and can only treat a limited number of patients at a time. This can result in Suboxone clinics in New Jersey being unable to accept new patients for a time.

“If you’re struggling to find quality care, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong.”

Throw into the mix the social distancing measures put into place because of COVID-19, and it gets more complicated. Not all Suboxone doctors will be able to see new patients. Some may require you to come into their office in person to see them or to take drug tests. 

Does my New Jersey Insurance Cover Suboxone Treatment?

Not sure if Suboxone treatment will be covered by your insurance? The easiest way to find out is to give the number on the back of your insurance card a call and ask. The care navigators that work at your insurance should be able to refer you to in-network care.

At Workit Health, our telemedicine Suboxone doctors accept many New Jersey insurance plans, including Horizon and Aetna commercial plans, Horizon Medicaid plans, and Horizon, Aetna, and Original Medicare plans. To check your insurance coverage, give the team a call at 855-659-7734 from 9am to 7pm EST.

“Many health insurance plans are waiving co-pays for telemedicine visits.”

Many health insurance plans are waiving co-pays for telemedicine visits. This means if you can find a telemedicine Suboxone provider in New Jersey you may not have any out of pocket costs during COVID-19. 

Telemedicine Suboxone Care During COVID-19

People usually head to in-person Suboxone clinics to receive counseling, join recovery groups, take drug tests, and meet with their doctor. COVID-19 has made everyone uneasy about in-person care. People who receive treatment from methadone clinics are advocating for looser restrictions around take-home medications so they can stay safely at home.

Telemedicine, or online care accessed via your computer or smartphone, is an important way to receive medical care at a social distance. During telemedicine Suboxone doctor visits in New Jersey, there is no risk for yourself or your medical team. Staying home means no exposure to any type of virus, including the novel coronavirus. At Workit Health, we offer 100% virtual telemedicine Suboxone treatment. Workit Health even drug tests online. You access the entire program through the Workit Health app available for iPhone or Android.

 

It’s important to remember that even when the COVID-19 emergency is over, you deserve accessible care. This is why Workit Health’s program is always available via telemedicine. We are the first digital Suboxone provider in New Jersey. Workit Health was proud to offer this service before COVID-19, and we will continue to offer it after the pandemic ends. Until then, please stay safe at home. Take the steps you need to get Suboxone treatment to start feeling better. You and your recovery are worth it.

90 Affordable and Entertaining Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home

If you’re stuck at home because of COVID-19, we’ve pulled together some free and enjoyable activities to keep you entertained and occupied.

The current coronavirus outbreak has us all stuck at home, wondering what to do next. For many of us in recovery, idle time is uncomfortable and we associate social distancing with isolation. Luckily, the internet is an amazing source of entertainment that can keep your mind stimulated and your need for social interaction satiated. If you’re stuck at home because of COVID-19, we’ve pulled together some mostly free and enjoyable recovery and more general activities to keep you entertained and occupied.

Online Recovery Meetings

Joining an online recovery meeting is a great way to feel connected in times of stress and not let your recovery program slip.

Smart Recovery

Nationwide organization offering free mutual-aid format support for people who struggle with all types of addictive behaviors

Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Directory of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings you can join by phone or online meeting link.

Al-Anon Electronic Meetings

Offering support for loved ones of those struggling with alcohol.

Recovery Dharma Online Meeting Community

Recovery Dharma uses Buddhist principles and practices to heal the suffering of addiction.

Refuge Recovery Online Meetings

Another Buddhist-recovery organization.

Other Online Sources of Recovery Inspiration

XA Speakers

An online collection of 12-step recovery speakers.

Recovery Podcasts

There is a whole world of recovery podcasts out there — here are a few to check out.

Recovery Blogs

Many bloggers write regularly on their own recovery experience, here are a few of our favorites.

Other Interesting Stuff Streaming Online

Museum Tours from Around the World Online

A Twitter Thread about Musicals on YouTube

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cam

Metropolitan Opera to Offer Up ‘Nightly Met Opera Streams’

Watch Some NBA Teams Play on Twitch

The Mega-List of Things to Do at When Stuck at Home

Reddit user u/camp-void has built out a list of over 70 ideas of things to do when you’re stuck at home and need to decompress. The post now has a Google Doc which is expanding.

Ways To Hang Out With Friends (But Not In Person)

Games

Things to Watch

Things to Read

Things to Listen To

Cute and Fluffy

Comedy

Stress-relief Tools

For Kids

Crowdsourcing (thanks to u/Veekhr for these!)

What Addiction Treatment Does Medicare Cover?

If you’re not sure what addiction treatment Medicare covers, we have answers. We’ve done the research to help you find Medicare-covered, high-quality care for drug or alcohol addiction.

What is Medicare, and how do I know if I have it? 

Here’s the thing — insurance is confusing, and Medicare doesn’t make anything simpler by a few letters off from Medicaid, which is a totally different type of health insurance. So let’s start by defining some basic terms to help you understand what type of insurance you have.

Medicare: According to Medicare.gov, Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, or certain younger people with disabilities (and also people with end-stage renal disease). This is sometimes referred to as Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plan: The federal government created Medicare advantage to provide people with more options for healthcare. Private health companies sell Medicare Advantage plans, which then cover Medicare services.

Medicaid: Medicaid offers health coverage to low-income adults and children, as well as people with disabilities. Medicaid is administered by the states. Learn more at Medicaid.gov.

What Addiction Treatment Does Medicare Cover? 

Medicare may cover your addiction treatment. These are just guidelines — to understand your plan 100%, it’s important to reach out to Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan directly. There are currently 3 factors involved in Medicare covering your addiction treatment:

  1. Your provider must state that treatment is medically necessary.
  2. You must receive services from a Medicare-approved provider or facility.
  3. Your provider must set up a plan of care. This is the clinician’s plan for your treatment.

If you’re looking for opioid addiction treatment in Michigan or California, Workit Health has a Medicare-approved digital program. If you’re unsure of what type of treatment you need, let’s break down the types of addiction treatment available, and whether or not Medicare covers them.

Does Medicare pay for outpatient treatment?

There are a few different types of outpatient addiction treatment, so determine what works for you and then check to see if your Medicare plan will cover it.

Some traditional treatment programs offer day or evening outpatient programs that focus on group therapy, counseling, and many of the same things as inpatient treatment, but in a less intensive setting. 

Office-based addiction treatment is becoming more prevalent as we realize that addiction is a medical issue with medical treatment options available. This may include FDA-approved medication for addiction in an office setting, rather than in a hospital or methadone clinic. Workit Health offers medication for opioid addiction (Suboxone), now covered by some Medicare plans in Michigan and California. The program is conveniently online after the first appointment.

Additionally, opioid treatment programs should be covered by your Medicare plan. These are commonly referred to as methadone clinics, and offer on-site dosing of opioid addiction medications like methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone).

If you’re receiving treatment from a Medicare-approved provider or facility, Part B of your Medicare plan should cover these services at 80% of an agreed-upon amount. This means that you will be responsible for 20% coinsurance. The outpatient center that you contact should have information on what exactly your costs would be.

Does Medicare cover residential treatment?

Residential treatment, often called inpatient care or rehab, is may be highly structured and supervised by a team of staff. Like any type of treatment, quality and content of these programs can vary so it’s important to evaluate all your options when choosing addiction treatment. It involves living in a community while focusing on your recovery, and the length of the stay can vary based on the program, severity of the addiction, or insurance coverage. 

According to Medicareinteractive.org, your Medicare plan’s cost-sharing for inpatient care would apply to inpatient care and it would be covered under Part A.

How long you can stay in rehab seems to depend on how much you are able to pay — the first 60 days of treatment are covered with no co-insurance, but there is a $1,408 deductible for each stay period. That means you will be responsible for at least that deductible amount. If you need longer than 60 days (this would be longer than most inpatient treatment programs) you may accrue additional costs. Although rehab is the type of addiction treatment most people are familiar with, it isn’t the only option and there are many alternatives to rehab out there.

Does Medicare offer transportation to my appointments?

You may not have transportation to your appointment, or you may not be comfortable driving. If you’re in Michigan or California, Workit Health offers telemedicine addiction treatment which means you only have to come to an office a single time, and after that everything is done online. 

If you’re not able to sign up for telemedicine treatment, there are options for transportation to medically necessary appointments for Medicare members. Although Original Medicare does not usually cover rides to appointments, other organizations and agencies, like your area on aging or senior center, may offer transportation. The rideshare company Lyft has begun partnering with Medicare Advantage plans to offer transportation in some areas, so if you’re covered by Medicare Advantage reach out to your plan for more specific transportation options.

Where can I get more information about what type of addiction treatment Medicare covers?

There are a number of resources online to help you understand Medicare and Medicare addiction treatment options:

Medicare.gov: This is the official US government site for Medicare. Here you can signup for Medicare and understand what Medicare covers. You can also find local assistance with your Medicare plan.

Medicare Interactive: Created by the Medicare Rights Center, this is a free and interactive tool that offers easy to understand answers to questions about Medicare.

Center for Medicare Advocacy: The Center for Medicare Advocacy is a national non-profit which provides education and legal assistance to people covered by Medicare. Anyone can contact the center for help.


Workit Health offers Medicare-covered opioid addiction treatment in Michigan and California.