Editorial Team

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MODULE 7:

7 How Can I Pay for Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

If you decide on an alcohol addiction treatment option that requires 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.

1. Paying with Health Insurance

Like any medical treatment in the U.S., the best way to pay for an alcohol 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 by way of treatment. The various types of insurance policy that can cover addiction treatment include:

  • Medicaid 1 
  • Medicare 2
  • State-financed health insurance – for example, Arizona 3
  • Private insurance
  • Military insurance

For those that are without health insurance coverage, there are other options, eg. low-cost and free rehabs, as well as treatment programs that offer financing options. Financing can be a better choice in some circumstances, because low-cost and free rehabs often have both limited funding and long waiting lists.

2. Important: Verifying Health Insurance

Once you’ve made the decision to seek alcohol 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 up front or at one time.

Importantly, before making a final decision about where you want to get treatment, check that your health insurance is accepted.

3. Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Can I Afford Rehab?

Unsurprisingly, many people who are in need of addiction treatment will not be able to pay “out of pocket.” The cost for therapists, the chosen facility, medication, etc., can add up. Here are several ways you can lessen the financial burden:

  • Using your insurance agency will only require a copay 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

2. What is The Cost of Treatment After Insurance?

The cost of treatment after insurance varies depending on your health insurance benefits and coverage. Most insurance providers 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 provider will release the financial burden that comes with addiction 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. 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 alcohol addiction treatment program you have chosen is “in-network” (meaning accepted) - often, there is an insurance verification page or list on the website.
  • Call the center directly, and inquire whether they accept your insurance agency or not.

3. How Do I Sign Up For Insurance?

To sign up for health insurance, you do not have to be currently employed or insured. Different providers charge at different rates, so you can look around for the right coverage and rate for you. The rate of your insurance will depend on your annual income. The Affordable Care Act requires coverage for substance abuse and mental health treatment services for all marketplace insurance plans - even with pre-existing conditions.

4. Should I Choose a Treatment Program Based on Cost?

In most cases, the decision between an IP or an OP is made as to whichever is more affordable, with an OP the least expensive. However, treatment costs should 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 or Medicaid to lessen the financial burden.

References:

  • 1 Medicaid (website homepage). May, 2021. Available at Medicaid.gov.
  • 2 Medicare (website homepage). May, 2021. Available at Medicare.gov.
  • 3 Arizona State Plans. 2021. Available at AzAHCCCS.gov.

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