Updated on February 6, 2024
5 min read

Does United Healthcare Cover Rehab for Drugs and Alcohol?

Does United Healthcare Cover Rehab for Drugs and Alcohol?

United Healthcare covers rehabilitation programs to treat drug and alcohol addiction.

However, coverage varies from person to person based on their:

  • Plan
  • Location
  • Chosen provider

United Healthcare is one of the country’s largest insurance providers. They offer a wide variety of policies. Coverage for addiction treatment varies by plan.

United Healthcare also has a separate division called United Behavioral Health. This division specifically focuses on handling drug and alcohol addiction care. It provides confidential access for customers to speak to a substance abuse healthcare provider. 

The division also offers annual preventive care screenings and counseling for those concerned about their substance use. 

Contact your insurance provider for help finding addiction treatment providers and drug and alcohol rehab centers in your area. United Healthcare has an extensive network of providers, so you’ll likely find what you need near you.

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Which Rehabs Accept United Healthcare Insurance? 

Many rehab centers throughout the United States accept United Healthcare coverage. Providers don’t always need to be in-network for coverage. 

However, some plans require higher coinsurance or copays for out-of-network treatment. Some plans do not cover any out-of-network providers.


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How to Check Your Coverage 

There are two ways for United Healthcare customers to check coverage:

  1. Visit myuhc.com
  2. Call the number on the back of the health plan ID card

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BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

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Rehab Together

Paying for Uncovered Rehab Costs 

Even the most extensive United Healthcare insurance policies don’t always cover all of the costs for addiction treatment.

If you need assistance paying for uncovered rehab costs, you have a variety of options. Many local and national services assist with out-of-pocket rehab expenses.

Your treatment provider can help you find ways to cover the gap between your coverage and what you owe. Many programs offer grant or scholarship programs. Others accept incremental payments. This means you won’t need to pay the entire amount upfront.

Many rehab facilities also accept credit card payments. 

This allows you to get the care you need, even if your United Healthcare coverage does not cover all of the costs. 

It’s also important to know of any out-of-pocket costs ahead of time. This will prevent you from being surprised about any uncovered costs. 

Speak with your insurance provider and the rehab facility to determine what you’ll need to pay.

What Rehab Services Does United Healthcare Cover?

United Healthcare offers coverage for a variety of services that vary by policy. These include:

  • Inpatient hospital detoxification
  • Outpatient detoxification
  • Inpatient programs
  • Outpatient programs


Detoxification is the process of clearing drugs and/or alcohol from a person’s system after heavy and/or long-term use. It’s often the first step in a drug and alcohol rehab program.

In many cases, medically supervised detox is needed during this time. Detox from certain substances can be dangerous. There is also a very high risk of relapse during detox.

Potential symptoms of withdrawal during the detox phase include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Agitation

Many people with drug or alcohol addiction need medical detox at the start of their recovery. Detox can take place in a dedicated detox center or within a larger rehab program. Programs often include medication to treat severe withdrawal symptoms.

In most cases, this process includes three parts:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Stabilization with medical supervision
  3. Transition to treatment

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment includes around-the-clock supervision and care during recovery. Programs can last anywhere between 5 to 90 days. 

Inpatient treatment is structured and includes:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Case management
  • Support groups
  • Medical care and supervision
  • Access to support/relapse prevention resources

Residential treatment is designed to be immersive. The goal is to completely focus on recovery and, eventually, provide a smooth transition back into society. 

It is critical to have a stable home or residential environment that is supportive of recovery and abstinence. 

People in residential drug and alcohol rehab are surrounded by their peers 24 hours a day. This means they avoid most temptations to use substances. 

Outpatient Treatment 

Outpatient programs are focused on helping people with substance use disorders (SUDs) transition from inpatient rehab to normal life. Some people skip inpatient treatment and begin recovery in an outpatient program.

Outpatient rehab might include:

Outpatient treatment is:

  • Affordable
  • Flexible
  • Convenient

Outpatient programs provide access to family, friends, work, and school. They offer balance, while still keeping the focus on recovery.

Outpatient drug or alcohol addiction treatment is ideal for people who have just completed a higher level of rehab such as inpatient or residential treatment. It’s also suitable for people who have recently relapsed but can manage their addiction during non-rehab hours.

There are several different outpatient treatment options available, including:

1. Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are “day treatment” programs. They offer intensive alcohol or drug rehab services during the day. 

Participants return to their homes in the evening. The goal is to provide recovery support in a less-intensive environment, all while supporting employment.  

2. Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are often used to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient treatment.

More specifically, IOPs help people:

  • Learn relapse management strategies
  • Develop coping skills
  • Build social support networks
  • Address specific symptoms

Programs include:

  • 10 to 12 hours of structured programming per week
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Mental health and substance use education

3. Traditional Outpatient or Continuing Care

Traditional outpatient treatment programs focus on the continuation of care. They also help people develop and maintain healthy habits and coping mechanisms. The goal is to strengthen the skills learned in higher levels of care.

This is the most basic level of care. There is limited medical supervision and support in traditional outpatient programs. Here, people spend just a few hours in structured individual and/or group therapy per week.

The goal of these programs is to get people back to regular life, while still providing support.

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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