How Expensive is Alcohol Rehab?

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The cost of alcohol addiction treatment varies by center and the treatment type needed. Other factors that affect the cost of rehab include medical care and amenities.

Some programs are free, while others may cost thousands of dollars a day. However, no matter what your budget is, there is an alcohol rehab program for you. The chance to recover is accessible to anyone if they know what resources are available to them. 

Cost of Alcohol Rehab

Cost of Alcohol Rehab (By Type)

The type of care provided by an alcohol and drug rehab facility affects the cost of becoming sober. Treatment options are also different for certain addictions.

Inpatient Treatment

Some inpatient rehab facilities cost around $6,000 for a 30-day treatment program. More renowned centers often charge between $20,000 and $50,000 for a 30-day program.

Those requiring 60 or 90-day programs may have to pay anywhere between $12,000 to $60,000.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders are more affordable than inpatient rehab centers. Typically, outpatient programs cost around $5,000 for a three-month schedule.

Some outpatient programs are more expensive, like the treatment at Hazelden Betty Ford, which costs $10,000.

The total cost depends on how often the patient visits the healthcare center each week and how long.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

People taking part in a partial hospitalization program live at home, so care costs are not usually as high as those associated with residential care. Treatment typically costs around $350 to $450 per day. Programs often last for weeks, rather than days.

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies can be expensive, often costing $100 or more per hour. Some therapists or clinics offer treatment on a sliding scale, which means that costs fluctuate based on income.

Ask about a sliding scale or other payment options when visiting a therapist or clinic for a consultation.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

The medications required for alcohol addiction treatment affects how much rehab costs. Some people do not require medication for their addiction, while others need a significant amount.

Medications most often address alcohol and opioid addiction and can cost several thousands of dollars a year.

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Does Health Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab? 

Insurance is one of the most common ways of covering rehab costs. The amount insurance covers depends on the insurance company and what the healthcare provider accepts.

What Does Alcohol Rehab Insurance Cover?

What alcohol rehab insurance covers depends on the specific plan. Outpatient and inpatient alcohol rehab insurance coverage differs by individual plans and the treatment provided.

Typically, insurance covers the medically necessary aspects of treatment. This could include:

  • Screening and intervention services 
  • Detoxification from alcohol use 
  • Medication for detox or recovery maintenance 
  • Inpatient services at a hospital or specialty facility
  • Outpatient rehab or treatment services 
  • Individual or group counseling

Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

Anything that is not medically necessary is less likely to be covered by alcohol rehab insurance. 

Services that are likely to be excluded from coverage include luxury services at high-end treatment centers, including gourmet food, recreation programs, some holistic care services, and other non-medical additions.

The out-of-pocket fees of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs can vary depending on the insurance provider. For example, the medication naltrexone’s insurance fees may differ based on what your insurance plan covers and the provider prescribing and distributing it.

Some states also mandate laws that enable private insurers to deny coverage to individuals who are intoxicated when they request service. This is particularly if emergency care is necessary for an injury or illness resulting from actions taken while drunk.

Tips For Finding Rehabs That Accept Health Insurance

Those with private insurance can check their policy to see what types of alcohol addiction treatment is covered. The higher the coverage, the pricier the cost of the plan.

If an insurance plan has excellent rehab coverage, those health benefits are likely met with a high premium cost. This usually applies to group insurance plans offered by employers. In the case of these policies, those covered by the plan only receive the coverage chosen by their employers.

Some of these plans may have coverage subject to exclusions. For example, if the policyholder requires alcohol rehab treatment for the first time, the insurance policy may cover it. However, if the individual were to relapse and need to return to treatment, the insurance plan may exclude extra treatment because prior help was given. 

In 2008, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed. It requires insurance plans providing drug and alcohol addiction coverage to offer advantages equal to those of the plan’s surgical and medical insurance benefits. This ensures that employers of over 50 individuals offer that equality in their benefits programs.

However, the ACA did not require insurance plans to include coverage for substance use disorders to start with. It is only valid with insurance plans that already have that coverage.

Other Ways to Pay for Rehab

There are other ways to pay for substance abuse treatment aside from using health insurance companies:

Medicare

Medicare Parts A and B provide coverage for substance abuse treatment, including alcohol rehab. 

Medicare Part A can help cover hospitalization for alcohol abuse treatment. Part B can help pay for treatment for partial hospitalization or outpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment services. 

Medicare Part D offers coverage for medications used to treat substance use disorders, including naltrexone, as long as the medicine is considered medically necessary for the patient.

Medicaid

At the same time that the ACA was introduced, the United States government put forward a requirement that specific medical insurance plans must include substance abuse treatments as part of each plan. 

Treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems is considered essential for premium and high-quality healthcare. As a result, Medicaid programs running under the ACA must provide coverage for alcohol rehab.

Individuals with low-income levels or with disabilities may qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, people's healthcare policies through the Affordable Care Act marketplace or state exchanges must include this coverage.

For those who are not insured via their workplace, are self-employed, or do not have insurance, the Marketplace or exchange plans are great ways to get coverage required for alcohol addiction treatment.

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Resources +

Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), January 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/drug-addiction-treatment-worth-its-cost

Dye, Meredith Huey et al., The availability of integrated care in a national sample of therapeutic communities., The journal of behavioral health services & research vol. 39,1 (2012): 17-27, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3907078/

Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), 2014, https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help

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