Our office has received multiple reports of individuals trying to recruit Massachusetts residents with substance use disorder to travel to so-called treatment centers in Arizona, California, or Florida.  These recruiters often use texts or social media to recruit patients.  The recruiters may offer to pay for airfare and health insurance to cover the costs of out-of-state treatment.

According to some reports, the out-of-state treatment centers provide little or no care to the patients.  In other instances, the recruiters have stopped paying insurance premiums, which has resulted in patients getting removed from treatment facilities and stranded out of state without access to housing, health care, or the financial resources to return to Massachusetts.  

If someone offers to arrange for you or a loved one to travel out of state to receive addiction treatment, or if they offer to cover your insurance payments, you should keep the following things in mind to protect yourself from a scam:

  • Be wary of unsolicited referrals to out-of-state treatment facilities.
    • Anyone seeking to arrange for addiction treatment out of state may be getting paid by the treatment center. 
    • In Massachusetts, it is illegal for recruiters to accept kickbacks for referring you to treatment.
    • Anyone paid a referral fee for recommending a particular treatment center does not have your best interests in mind.
  • Be wary of anyone offering to pay for your insurance coverage.  They can stop paying your premiums at any time, which will result in the cancellation of your insurance.
  • If you accept an offer by someone to pay for travel to an out-of-state clinic, make sure you have a plan and the means to pay for a trip back home.
  • Be careful about giving your personal information – including your social security number or insurance number – to a recruiter, unless you can confirm that the person is employed by a medical provider or insurance company.
  • If someone is offering to arrange travel or cover insurance costs for treatment, call the treatment facility or your insurance company to confirm that the person is an employee. 

To safely access treatment services in Massachusetts, please contact the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Hotline at:

1-800-327-5050

1-800-720-3480 TTY

Monday-Friday 8am-10pm

Weekends 9am-5pm

http://helpline-online.com/

If you have MassHealth insurance, contact the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership: 

1-800-495-0086

http://www.masspartnership.com/

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Health Care Helpline at:

1-888-830-6277

617-727-4765 TTY

Health Care Services/Insurance Complaint Form