Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science and Environment

New legislation would expand Medicaid coverage to include treatment for alcohol use disorder


New legislation in the state house would allow alcohol addiction treatment to be covered under Medicaid.

Supporters of the legislation say treatment for opioid addiction is already covered - and it makes sense to expand covered addiction treatments to alcohol.

Democratic State Representative Abdullah Hammoud introduced the bill.

“About 50% of the time when an individual presents with some kind of substance use disorder it is more than likely alcohol related disorders,” he said. “We want to bring some parity into the system.”

Hammoud said health care providers have repeatedly called for additional support in treating alcohol use disorder.

“The hospitals have spoken to this time and time again here testifying before us in committee as well as many of the providers that offer services to those in need throughout the communities have all testified to the need of really beefing up the programming and assistance that we offer.”

Hammoud said it’s not clear yet how much the additional coverage would cost. But, he said, covering alcohol use disorder treatments would be worth it in the long term.

“By providing reimbursement for these services we’re making sure people aren’t developing more severe disease,” he said. “So there’s a great benefit in making sure we provide reimbursement for this service to the long term health of our system.”

The legislation already has bipartisan support.