Escaping addiction can feel impossible. The cost of rehab is so high, and you might be asking yourself, What if I never collect the cash to get my loved one the help they need? This leaves many wondering if insurance covers rehab and how much rehab costs with insurance. According to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly 22.7 million people every year need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem. And 89 percent of them will never get it.
On this page, we’ll answer the popular “Does insurance cover rehab,” “How much does rehab cost with insurance,” and “How much does rehab cost without insurance” questions while addressing various other topics related to the financial aspects of rehab. These include the cost of rehab, how rehab can save you money in the long run, what percentage of rehab insurance covers and the available payment options for those without insurance.
Does Insurance Cover Rehab?
The short and simple answer is “yes.” In most cases, insurance will cover rehab because it involves treating a medical disease. However, there are a few variables to consider before making any conclusions, such as the specific terms of the plan that will give you a better understanding to the question “will insurance pay for rehab?”
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
The costs of a rehab program vary widely by the type of treatment center, and whether you do an inpatient or outpatient program. Some recovery options, such as programs from non-profit health centers, are entirely free while luxury centers for celebrities might cost up to $80,000 a month. Most standard drug treatment centers fall somewhere in the middle, from $2,000 to $25,000 a month.
The cost varies depending on location, length, and what’s included. For example, a recovery center with a view of the beach and an Olympic-sized pool is going to be more expensive than one in a suburb town with regular amenities.
Should I Choose Outpatient or Inpatient Rehab?
An inpatient or residential program requires you to live at the recovery center. There, you’ll receive therapy and learn new skills to orient yourself in your new, sober life. Inpatient rehab is a focused environment that removes temptations and lets you focus on recovering.
An outpatient program, on the other hand, lets you live at home or nearby and visit the treatment center a few times each week to attend recovery classes, speak with your counselor, and receive any medication you may be prescribed.
Outpatient programs are generally much more affordable, and they let you continue your job or responsibilities at home. However, travel can be difficult if the rehab center is far from your location, especially if you are on medication that interferes with your ability to drive. It can also be difficult if your home life is a source of temptation and you don’t have support at home to help you focus on recovery.
The Cost of Rehab vs. the Cost of Addiction
Investing in rehab and potentially going into debt for it can be daunting, but when you break out the numbers, rehab proves to be the most cost-effective option.
- Cost of Substance Abuse: Addiction is expensive. The substance alone can bankrupt you (you can use this calculator to estimate your own cost). For example, an alcoholic who drinks every day could easily spend at least $3,000 in a year on drinks alone. A ten-year addiction could cost $30,000 in drinks alone. The cost of drugs is harder to pin down, but it’s generally much higher.
- Cost of Lost Income: On top of that, addiction often comes with workplace problems and even criminal fines. Most states allow workplaces to test for drugs after a workplace accident. Even if an accident doesn’t happen, addiction tends to make it difficult to be productive at work, making advancement unlikely.
- Cost of Health Problems: Alcoholism is notoriously bad on the liver, but both alcohol and drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine can cause a host of other problems throughout the body. Medical bills and criminal charges can add up quickly, especially after an accident on the road. Almost 40% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.
In the long run, addiction is terribly expensive. Rehab can put an end to those expenses and ultimately save money.
What Does Insurance Cover for Rehab?
The coverage you receive will vary by your insurance plan. However, many health insurance providers cover at least a portion of the treatment expense.
To find out if you or a loved one will receive coverage for addiction treatment, you’ll need to reach out to your insurance provider directly. They should be able to tell you exactly what services your plan covers, for how long, and what the co-payment will be (how much of the cost you’ll be responsible for). The following are the two forms of insurance available to the public:
Private insurance is not subsidized by the government. However, it may be required by law to include mental health services in certain instances, including coverage for substance abuse treatment.
If you are part of a group plan (such as what you’d receive from an employer) that includes more than 50 employees, the insurance will cover this treatment according to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
Private insurance is generally the most expensive option, but it also provides the most options so you can invest in the treatment plan that best fits your lifestyle. If you are looking for alcohol rehab insurance or drug rehab insurance options private insurance is going to give you the most options.
If you do not have private insurance or your plan does not cover substance abuse treatment, public insurance can make the cost of rehab more affordable.
In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which funds insurance plans available in a platform called the Health Insurance Marketplace. The ACA considers addiction treatment to be an “essential health benefit” (EHB) that must be covered by new plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
However, it may not cover the type of coverage you’re looking for. For example, it might only cover drug or alcohol detox and outpatient services, but not inpatient programs.
If you use Medicare or Medicaid, you’ll have to check your exact plan, as only some cover substance abuse treatment.
What If You Don’t Have Insurance Coverage for Rehab?
If you don’t have any health coverage for addiction treatment, there are still several options to explore:
Talk to Your Employer
Start with the employee handbook. Your employer might offer coverage, even if they’re not required to by law. Depending on the situation, they may even be willing to help you pay. Other businesses may be willing to give you an extended leave so you have a job when you return.
It can be scary to think of losing your job by attending rehab. But the more likely situation is losing your job because you never got help. Reach out to a Human Resources representative as your workplace and see what options are available to you.
Talk to the Treatment Center
If the initial cost sounds daunting, don’t let it stop you. Many recovery centers offer payment plans so you can pay in smaller increments each month. This will let you start your treatment as soon as possible. When you’re clean and able to hold down a reliable job again, you’ll be able to pay it off.
Don’t Let the Unknown Hold You Back from Getting Help
At the Recovery Village, we work with a wide range of insurance providers and offer additional financing options to make your recovery as affordable as possible. Learn more about insurance coverage for treatment and call our intake counselors today to find out how we can help you take the first step toward healing through our advanced treatment programs.
The Best Insurance For Drug Rehab
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Results from the 1013 National Survey on[…]f National Findings.” Sep 2014. Accessed September 10, 2019.
Rethinking Drinking. “Alcohol spending calculator.” Accessed September 10, 2019.
Workplace Fairness. “Drug Testing.” Accessed September 10, 2019.
National Center for Statistics and Analysis. “Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol.” 2003 Data. Accessed September 10, 2019.
CMS.gov. “The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).” Accessed September 10, 2019.
Healthcare.gov. “Mental health & substance abuse coverage.” Accessed September 10, 2019.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.