Once the seriously important decision to seek out the right drug or alcohol rehab for you to finally begin your much-needed addiction treatment has been made, it is invariably the issue of cost (and all the resulting questions, like “How can I pay for this?” and “Will my health insurance provider cover the treatment costs?”) that often provides the first, and possibly the highest hurdle you need to negotiate.
Contrary to the general public consensus about rehab costs, eg. way too expensive for the ordinary blue-collar worker to attend, there are a variety of ways to pay your rehab costs, as well as a range of rehabs that actually vary in cost. Yes, there are the luxury, beach-fronted, 5-star hotel-type addiction rehabs, but they simply price themselves out of the market for most people.
However, there are also the more mainstream addiction rehabs (where many health insurance policies will cover the majority of costs), as well as the low-cost, non-profit rehabs – many of which, you’ll not be surprised to discover, run far better and more successful treatment programs than the salubrious, luxury-model option mentioned earlier.
The objective of this article is to not only dispel any doubts you may have around affordability and healthcare insurance, it is also looking to highlight the range of addiction treatment programs that are available to you.
Drug Rehab in Arizona: Will It Cost You More or Less?
A short answer to the above question is “No.” However, you could also answer “How long is the proverbial piece of string?” Arizona has a huge number of mainstream, affordable drug rehabs that provide treatment paid, in full or in part, by a range of different health providers. Additionally, Arizona also has a short list of luxury-style rehabs offering addiction treatment.
Making the decision to go to a drug rehab center is the first, decisive, and potentially life-changing step in finally getting healthy, prolonging your life expectancy, and avoiding the many health conditions and diseases that substance addiction can inevitably bring.
Furthermore, it’s your first, significant step in being able to develop healthy relationships with family, loved ones, and friends, and giving yourself a chance of real success in the future – something you may have unwittingly denied yourself for years.
Obviously, location is a significant factor when choosing the right drug and alcohol rehab for you. However, you should not limit yourself to “nearby” rehabs just because they are close to home. It really depends on the type of addiction treatment you’re looking for.
Predominantly, this means either an inpatient program, where you are resident at the rehab for a specified period of time or an outpatient program, which is far more ideal for those who have family or work obligations (these options are discussed in far more detail later in this article).
The Cost of Your Addiction vs. The Cost of Its Treatment
To return to our question above, everyone reading this should understand one vital socio-economic factor – regardless of the ultimate cost to you of drug rehab, addiction treatment, time spent getting clean, whatever you want to call it, understand this – the cost of getting help is far, far less than either the long-term financial cost of your substance addiction, whether it’s opioids medications, heroin, cocaine, or alcohol, and it’s far, far less than the social cost to you, and living your life from now on, as either a drug addict or an alcoholic.
The Law is On Your Side
Health insurance providers are now bound by law to cover the primary costs of treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs), including alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Here’s why.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, 2008 stipulates that insurance companies cannot discriminate against or deny coverage to individuals with SUD. In addition to this, the Affordable Care Act, 2010 classified mental health and addiction services as essential health benefits.
This means insurance companies have to treat mental health and substance abuse treatment in exactly the same way as they would any other regular health treatment. Now, every insurance company has a range of different coverage plans that can be tailored to the individual’s needs.
Furthermore, any of you that are concerned about losing your employment because you’re taking time off to attend addiction treatment should relax, too, because there are laws in place to allow you time for treatment and to protect you from any discrimination. The American With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) all work together to protect you and your employment status should you wish to seek treatment while remaining actively employed.
Your Range of Options for Addiction Treatment (Guide)
Don’t let the idea that health insurance won’t cover your addiction treatment stop you from receiving the treatment you need. In addition, there is a wide range of various addiction treatment options you can choose from, all with varying costs; for example,
- A residential, inpatient program, ranging from 30-90 days
- An outpatient program, with flexible appointments, designed to allow you to fulfill family and work or academic obligations
- A number of programs run by facilities that offer payment assistance or sliding fee scales, and
- Programs provided free of charge, and/or paid for by state taxes
Please remember, if there is one thing that determines whether one type of addiction treatment is the better option for you, it’s this: your own personal situation. Your particular circumstances, whatever they may be, and how they may either open up or restrict your choices in life, are the best measure of where your decision should ultimately lie. Yes, cost may well be “the big factor” in your decision, but maybe family is too; therefore, your final choice may well be simply the best compromise considering your circumstances.
The Importance of Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment
Additionally, whichever program you choose, it has to contain the primary elements of evidence-based addiction treatment, which are:
- Substance detoxification (if required; more commonly known as detox)
- Group therapy
- Relapse prevention, and
- Individual counseling
Note: Any programs that fail to include these elements are not worth either your or your insurer’s money.
Here are your substance addiction treatment program options in full, with their respective benefits (Note: costs of individual treatments and programs are provided afterward):
1. Inpatient Program (IP)
An inpatient program (IP), also known as residential rehab, because you live 24/7 at the rehab facility, is recommended for those with severe substance addictions, and those who have a co-occurring disorder (or dual diagnosis), meaning they also suffer from a mental health condition, such as depression, PTSD or bipolar disorder.
Being a resident within a rehab that offers care around the clock helps enormously in avoiding influences and triggers from your previous, addicted life. IPs can either be short or long term (anywhere between 28 days to a whole year and beyond) and often provide post-rehab programs, such as an outpatient program after the residency has finished to ensure the patient continues treatment.
Advantages of Inpatient Programs
Inpatient rehab programs offer a number of benefits to people who have the flexibility (or lack of obligations) to deal with the stringent restrictions:
- Residential inpatient rehab treatment is highly structured, focusing on all aspects of a client’s addiction, including one-to-one therapy on relationships, lifestyle and psychological factors (related to personal history and situation)
- IPs provide 24/7 care, usually in non-hospital settings, which can be exceptionally important for those also dealing with mental health issues and past trauma
- You will live with other drug addicts and alcoholics, encouraging a community and fraternity
Note: Please bear in mind, IPs are more costly than OP alternatives.
2. Partial-Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Partial-hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient programs are, fundamentally, all outpatient programs. However, they vary greatly in their intensity and their required schedules; for example, a PHP is normally around 30 hours or more per week, whereas a standard OP requires around only 10 hours per week.
A partial-hospitalization program (PHP) doesn’t mean “hospital” per se, – it is referring to the rehab facility where treatment will take place (a more relaxed setting than a hospital, but with medical care available, if required). PHP provides a highly-structured environment for up to 6 hours a day, while you reside at home or in sober-living housing, with peers who are also in the program. Lastly, a PHP allows clients transitioning from an inpatient or a detox program to move into a more flexible program that still offers a high level of structure and support.
3. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are treatment programs that do not require detoxification (although this may have happened prior) or round-the-clock supervision. IOPs enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential IPs do not.
IOPs are sometimes used in conjunction with inpatient programs as a way of helping clients to transition seamlessly back into their families and communities. They are designed to continue counseling, help establish support mechanisms, assist with relapse management, and provide further coping strategies, if needed.
4. Outpatient Program (OP)
Outpatient programs (OPs) involve a daily appointment schedule, spread through the week, and can provide particular therapies, counseling, or group sessions, held at a medical clinic or a rehab facility. Furthermore, as we are discussing cost, standard OPs typically cost significantly less than an inpatient rehab program, but the level of support may be less intensive. Additionally, if required, detox can also take place, usually at another facility, before the patient begins their OP.
Advantages of Outpatient Programs
Advantages of attending an OP include:
- You continue to live at home, and work or study
- If you’re a teenager or adolescent, you have your family to provide additional support
- Treatment costs are significantly less than an inpatient program.
Important: In fact, many healthcare insurance plans actually cover the cost of an outpatient program in full
- Appointments can be made during the day, in the evening, and at weekends
5. Alternative Types of Addiction Treatment
Nonprofit & State-funded Programs
You may meet the requirements for low-income rehab, which are usually provided by non-profit organizations. Low-income rehab is either free or significantly reduced in cost. These programs are available so those in need can get the help they deserve – regardless of income.
Additionally, the Salvation Army is a well-known non-profit organization that provides free rehab for those in need, and there are also state-funded rehabs in Arizona for those with low-incomes – however, there is usually a long waiting list for both of these options.
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are another option for people in need of addiction help. Additionally, there are Self Management And Recovery Training (SMART) mutual-support groups, self-termed as “science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery.”
However, if either of these is your starting point, your addiction should be minor in nature, and not require any medical elements whatsoever, eg. detox, medication, etc., unless you are using these support groups as part of an overall treatment plan.
Typical Costs* for Substance Addiction Treatment
Disclaimer: Please understand that accurate costs depend on (i). the specific rehab facility chosen, and/or (ii). the type of treatment program you will undertake, and/or (iii). what is covered by the program cost and what is not, and/or (ii). if you are using insurance, exactly what costs will your healthcare provider cover. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak directly to the rehab/facility concerned and your health insurance provider, if needed, to discuss and agree all of this prior to beginning your addiction treatment.
There are many other factors that affect the cost of rehab, from the level of medical care down to the amenities offered at each facility. The following are estimated typical costs* for the main elements of addiction treatment
Note: *Based on costs reported by a range of government studies and individual facilities in Arizona. These estimated typical costs are solely provided to give a general concept of costs.
Most inpatient rehabs include detox, if required, in the cost of a program. The exact cost of detox can depend on whether it’s part of an inpatient program, and the type of drug addiction being treated. Substances with dangerous withdrawal symptoms require more careful monitoring, making the price higher. Outpatient detox can range from $1,000 to $1,500 in total, but can be higher if medication(s) are administered.
Outpatient programs for mild to moderate addictions are cheaper than inpatient rehab, with average costs around $5,000 for a three-month OP. However, OPs can cost much more, eg. an OP at a Hazelden Betty Ford facility costs approximately $10,000. The actual cost also depends on how often the client visits the facility each week, and for how long.
The type of treatment and the medications required will affect the cost of any program. However, not everyone requires medication for their type of addiction. Medications are commonly used when treating alcohol or opiate addiction, eg. a year-long methadone treatment for ex-heroin users can cost around $4,700.
How to Pay for Your Substance Addiction Treatment
If you decide on an addiction treatment option that does require payment, you basically have the following options: pay out of savings, arrange a loan that will cover the treatment, or, the most popular option, use your health insurance plan to cover all or part of the cost.
Addiction Treatment Through Your Health Insurance
Like any medical treatment in the U.S., the best way to pay for an addiction treatment program is through your health insurance. However, the actual amount that your insurance will cover depends on both your chosen health insurance provider and what that health provider accepts as by way of treatment. The various types of insurance policy that can cover addiction treatment include:
For those that are without insurance, there are the other options discussed above, as well as treatment programs that offer financing options. Financing can be a better choice because low-cost and free rehabs often have both limited funding and long waiting lists.
Verifying Your Health Insurance
Once you’ve made the decision to seek addiction treatment, finding out if your health insurance will cover your costs is relatively straightforward. Contact the facility of your choice, and their staff will contact your insurance company on your behalf to determine the percentage that the company will pay for your rehab, and what you will be responsible for paying.
If you have public health insurance through the state that you live in, then this will usually cover most of the facility’s treatment payment. Additionally, many rehab centers have payment options, so, if needed, you don’t have to pay for the entire service upfront or at one time.
For example, your health insurance plan may cover your addiction recovery at Springboard – verifying your insurance with us is quick and easy. Regardless, before making a final decision about where you want to get help, contact Springboard Recovery to get the latest information about the services we provide, as well as the payment options we can make available to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Afford Rehab?
Unsurprisingly, many people who are in need of rehab will not be able to pay out of pocket. The cost for therapists, facilities, etc. can add up. Here are some ways you can lessen the financial burden:
- Using your insurance agency will only require a co-pay or a small out of pocket fee
- Just over 73% of substance abuse treatment facilities offer payment assistance, or discounted treatment for those who pay out of pocket
- You can also inquire with the treatment facility about payment plans, free care, or partially waived fees
There are also substance abuse treatment housing facilities like The Oxford House that can provide clean living quarters encompassed in addiction treatment. Places like the Oxford House are alcohol and drug-free spaces that provide daily access to treatment and assistance with outpatient recovery and assimilating back into society.
What is The Cost of Treatment After Insurance?
The cost of treatment after insurance varies depending on your insurance benefits and coverage. Most insurance agencies have a list of rehab centers that are in-network with the agency and will cover the majority of the cost of treatment, only leaving you with a small co-pay. Covering the majority of the cost, your insurance agency will release the financial burden that comes with the cost of treatment. There are also federally accessible insurance policies (i.e Medicare and Medicaid) that are low cost and in some instances free depending on your annual income. Some facilities accept most major insurances. However, in this instance, you might have to pay more out of pocket. The best way to ensure you are making the best financial decision for you is to:
- Contact your insurance representative to see if the Arizona Rehab Center you have chosen is in-network. Sometimes there is a list located on their website.
- Call the center directly and inquire whether they accept your insurance agency or not. Or look on their website
- Visit the Springboard Recovery Insurance Verification Page to verify if your agency is in-network with us
How Do I Sign Up for Insurance?
To sign up for insurance you do not have to be currently employed or insured. Different agencies charge at different rates, so you can shop around for the right coverage and rate for you. The rate of your insurance will depend on your annual income (sometimes you can qualify for free federal insurance plans like Medicare or Medicaid). The Affordable Care Act requires coverage for substance abuse and mental health treatment services for all marketplace insurance plans (even with pre-existing conditions). To get more information on the Affordable Health Care Act and The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) visit the healthcare.gov website, which covers information about both the Affordable Health Care Act and The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) which requires health insurance companies to provide same level coverage for mental health and substance abuse services as primary care. It will also allow you to apply for federally accessible insurance easily online. There are always live representatives for each insurance agency who are able to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your potential plan.
Should You Choose Based on Cost?
Deciding to opt in on non-residential outpatient treatment or residential inpatient treatment can be difficult for most patients. In most cases, the decision is made as to whichever is more affordable. Outpatient treatment to the least expensive of the two options. However, it is meant to be used as the last stepping stone after inpatient treatment in a full-service treatment facility to living life in recovery at home. If you decide on outpatient recovery treatment without inpatient treatment you are not as likely to be successful in at-home recovery than someone who completed both recovery programs. Rehab cost is to be associated with investing in your future. Most facilities will work with payment plans, discounted treatment rates if you pay out of pocket, or Medicare/Medicaid to lessen the cost and financial burden. Make sure you are choosing the best treatment option that suits your needs and will provide the best chance for a successful recovery at home as well as in a facility.
How Do I Get Immediate Treatment?
In an emergency situation seek help right away and do not hesitate getting treatment. Any acute situation (cases of overdose, suicidal thoughts, other medical emergencies induced by drug or alcohol addiction) that requires immediate emergency care call 911. If you are seeking standard treatment in a non-emergency situation seek out different avenues of financial aid. The cost of treatment can be a burden to many, and some facilities provide financial assistance, discounted treatment, or payment plans. If you or a loved one are in need of substance abuse rehabilitation, even if you have no insurance coverage do not hesitate to contact an Arizona treatment center for more information in regards to specific options and plans for payment and overall best treatment plans.
What To Do First
In the case of life threatening emergencies call 911 or find the nearest emergency room. Examples of a life threatening emergency regarding substance abuse are: overdose, suicidal thoughts or actions, other medical emergencies induced by drug or alcohol use) If it is a not a life threatening emergency or after the emergency has stabilized, contact your insurance company for further assistance in regards to in-network treatment facilities in your area. If you do not have insurance you should contact a representative with either Medicare or Medicaid to inquire about affordable federal insurance that is available to you. Staff and doctors at the hospital can also direct you or recommend you to many resources and facilities available for next step options for treatment.
- Centers for Medicare and & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Other-Insurance-Protections/mhpaea_factsheet#:~:text=The%20Paul%20Wellstone%20and%20Pete,favorable%20benefit%20limitations%20on%20those
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca-new-patients-bill-of-rights
- United States Department Civil Rights Division: https://www.ada.gov/
- U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152944/
- The Salvation Army: https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/
- Alcoholics Anonymous: https://www.aa.org/
- Narcotics Anonymous: https://na.org/
- Self-Management and Recovery Training: https://www.smartrecovery.org/
- Medicaid.gov: https://www.medicaid.gov/
- Medicare.gov: https://www.medicare.gov/
- Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System: https://www.azahcccs.gov/Resources/StatePlans/
- Oxford House: https://oxfordhouse.org/userfiles/file/purpose_and_structure.php
- HealthCare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/