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Updated on August 25, 2022

How to Pay for Addiction Treatment

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

Rehab for drug or alcohol addiction may be expensive. But it is rarely as costly as active addiction with loss of health, family, jobs, money, and even your life. 

People seeking addiction treatment have to consider many factors. Among these are the different types of treatment and how to pay for rehab. 

People respond differently to various treatments. They should choose the one that best suits their needs. Types of addiction treatment include:1, 2, 3 

Medical detox uses medication to help people manage withdrawal symptoms. Examples include bupropion, methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate.

Inpatient treatment is for people who need 24-hour medical supervision. Or those who don’t have a stable home environment that supports rehab efforts.

Partial hospitalization programs are is similar to inpatient treatment programs, but people can stay at home at night.

Outpatient treatment is for people who don’t need 24/7 care.

Intensive outpatient treatment has more frequent sessions than regular outpatient treatments.

The choice of addiction treatment also affects how much people will pay. Fortunately, there are lots of payment options. 

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How to Pay for Rehab With Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most common means for covering the costs of drug or alcohol rehab. It can cover full or partial costs depending on the plan. 

With the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), substance use and mental health conditions now receive the same coverage as other medical conditions.4

Contact your health insurance provider to learn about your benefits. Some treatment facilities can inform you of your status and whether or not they’re part of your insurance network. 

Many health insurance providers have negotiated discounted rates with their in-network providers that are less than advertised rates. But even with health insurance, you may still need to pay:

Deductibles: The amount you pay before your insurance starts paying for the health service. For example, with a $2,000 deductible, you’ll pay the first $2,000 cost of the health service.5

Co-pays: A fixed amount you pay for a health service after you've paid the deductible. For example, with a $100 doctor’s fee and $20 co-pay, you’ll pay $20 if you paid the deductible or the total of $100 if not.6

Other out-of-pocket costs. This includes any additional services that aren’t covered or are only partially covered. 

Insurance carriers provide individual and group plans that have different coverage limits and individual contribution amounts.

Major insurance providers that will cover all or part of your rehab costs include:

United Healthcare

United Healthcare has insurance plans that cover inpatient and outpatient treatments.

The costs depend on various factors like the type of plan, your state of residence, and your chosen healthcare provider.

United Behavioral Health provides confidential services for people who want to speak with a mental health professional. It’s a separate division of United Healthcare.

Cigna

Cigna covers inpatient and outpatient treatments, partial hospitalization, and support services.

Cigna’s coverage depends on various factors like your state of residence and if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

A division known as Cigna’s Behavioral Health provides educational tools and resources for people wanting to overcome substance abuse. 

Aetna

Aetna works with the person to determine how much coverage they need. Other companies, on the other hand, usually set a coverage limit.

Aetna plans cover detox, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatments. Aetna does not cover all inpatient treatments.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield covers detox services, inpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization. 

Coverage depends on various factors like the type of plan and your state of residence.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s OneHealth mobile platform provides around-the-clock support and educational tools. 

Humana Health

Humana’s coverage includes medications for withdrawal symptoms. The company also covers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

Coverage varies depending on the plan and sometimes on the state where you live.

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente covers detox, inpatient, and outpatient treatments. Deductibles, co-pays, and coverage options vary by state.

How to Pay for Rehab Without Insurance 

The cost of addiction treatment should not prevent uninsured people from getting help.

To get funds, uninsured people may resort to: 

  • Spending some savings or a portion of their 401(k) plan
  • Applying for a home equity loan or other unsecured loans from financial institutions
  • Selling non-essential items like jewelry, art collections, and sports, digital, or musical equipment

Other non-insurance options include:

Private Financing

Uninsured people who don’t qualify for government assistance may need to secure private financing. 

They may secure a personal loan from family to friends to finance their rehab. 

Some companies provide healthcare loans like My Treatment Lender, Lightstream, and Prosper.7, 8 These loans usually have low interest rates and flexible terms. 

People may also apply for low-interest credit cards. Credit companies that specialize in healthcare financing include CareCredit and United Medical Credit.8

Fundraising 

Some people successfully raise money for treatment through platforms like GoFundMe, YouCaring, Crowdrise, and Indiegogo. 

Payment Plans 

Certain treatment facilities allow people to pay after they are discharged. This arrangement is sometimes made through a third-party lender.

Questions About Insurance?

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Other Ways to Pay for Rehab

State and Local Government Programs 

Several states have treatment programs for uninsured people. Check with a treatment center near you to learn about these programs. 

Some treatment facilities receive state funding and local grants. Admission requirements vary by state and typically include: 

  • Proof of residence
  • Degree and history of addiction
  • Inability to pay for addiction treatment

Due to limited funding, state-funded facilities usually don’t have the same amenities as private centers. They’re still a great option if you have limited resources and need treatment.

Non-Profit Rehab Facilities 

There are non-profit addiction treatment programs for little or no cost. 

The Salvation Army has a program for people with substance addiction. In exchange, people must perform a work therapy assignment for 8 hours a day.9

Adult & Teen Challenge has over 200 residential locations across North America. The costs vary depending on the location of the treatment facility.10

Medicare/Medicaid 

Medicare and Medicaid are government-funded health insurance plans. They can help people pay for drug and alcohol rehab.

Medicare is for:11

  • People over the age of 65
  • Some younger people with disabilities
  • People with end-stage renal disease

In all states, Medicaid provides insurance coverage for:12

  • Some low-income people
  • Families and children
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly people
  • People with disabilities

In some states, Medicaid covers all adults below a certain income level. 

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Health insurance providers with marketplace plans must comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Depending on the selected plan, ACA-sponsored policies can cover 60 to 90% of the treatment cost. 

Under the ACA, an insurance applicant won’t be penalized for pre-existing conditions. This makes it easier for people with drug and alcohol use disorders to apply for health insurance.13, 14

Scholarships 

Some organizations offer scholarships to help uninsured people go to rehab. Examples include the 10,000 Beds’ and Sobriety Foundation’s scholarship programs.15, 16

Call to find out how much your insurance will cover
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Resources

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  1. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). January 2019.
  2. Treatment Settings.National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). January 2014.
  3. Definition of partial hospitalization. The National Association of Private Psychiatric Hospitals and the American Association for Partial Hospitalization.Psychiatr Hosp 1990 Spring; vol. 21, 2 (1990 Spring): 89-90. 
  4. Paying for treatment.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). October 2019. 
  5. Deductible.HealthCare.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  6. Copayment.HealthCare.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  7. MyTreatmentLender.com Provides Loans for Drug, Alcohol and Eating Disorder Treatment Centers.WebWire. August 26, 2013.
  8. Tretina, Kat. “5 best medical loans of 2022.Credit Karma. January 4, 2022.
  9. Rehabilitation.The Salvation Army USA. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  10. Centers.Adult & Teen Challenge. Accessed January 23, 2022. 
  11. What's Medicare?Medicare.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022. 
  12. Who is eligible for Medicaid?HHS.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022. 
  13. “Essential Health Benefits.HealthCare.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  14. What Marketplace health insurance plans cover.HealthCare.gov. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  15. 1000 Beds | One bed. One life.” Ten Thousand Beds. Accessed January 23, 2022.
  16. Applicants & Recovery.” Sobriety Foundation. Accessed January 23, 2022.

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