DELAWARE - Substance Abuse has become a major issue across the nation and Delaware is doing something about the epidemic in their state. The Justice Department will now help get thousands of Delawareans treatment they may not have been able to receive before through insurance.
The Justice Department's new legal assistance program helps with countless Delawareans who were either denied coverage through insurance, or had their coverage run out while in treatment.
The DOJ program, funded through the Consumer Protection Fund, will retain attorneys and other professionals to help folks appeal substance abuse treatment benefits denials.
Attorney General Matt Denn says Delaware is leading the way, as the first state to offer help to residents denied coverage for substance abuse treatment.
"It's really one of those things where we kept hearing about a problem and try to figure out the most effective way of dealing with it... I think it helps that we are a small state so that it is something that we can try to do at a statewide level."
Laurel resident Erik Smith says he has friends who have dealt with substance abuse, and thinks this could be the start of a trend nation wide.
"Hey it's the first state. So step up and put it out there and see how it works and see if other states want to follow and it might become its own epidemic and really help out nationwide."
The new program was born from conversations with countless Delawareans who were either denied coverage through insurance, or had their coverage run out while in treatment.
"People have problems with their private insurance, people with medicaid have problems getting medicaid coverage. So the issue is one that seems to be a real obstacle to people not being able to get treatment for substance abuse problems and its one that we wanted to address."
For those who want it, they now have another option when seeking the help they need.
"Those that do want the help, this program steps up and gives them an opportunity so I think that's a great thing. Even if it helps just one person that's a step in the right direction," said Smith.
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