State expects influx of up to 100K seeking treatment

Apr 16, 2013

Only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for substance abuse in Washington state are currently getting that help. State officials believe that could change dramatically next January when thousands more become eligible for insurance because of health care reform.

Health care reform and expansion of Medicaid are expected to change that picture for as many as 166,000 people.

An Associated Press analysis of government data has found that would nearly triple the number of people seeking treatment in the state.

In Washington, about 59,000 people are currently receiving treatment. Another 47,000 people with substance abuse issues would be newly eligible for insurance in 2014. And other 119,000 would become eligible if the state expands Medicaid coverage, as expected.