How Much Does Rehab Cost? Insurance, Financing, Private Pay Options

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Addiction can ruin lives and destroy relationships. Drug overdoses take too many lives every year. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics reports there were 700,000 drug overdoses in the U.S. since 2000.  They also report that the percentage of people who used illicit drugs in 2018 was 19.4 percent.

In addition, the center reports that in 2018:

  • 31.9 million over age 12 in the U.S. were current illegal drug users (had used within the previous month)
  • 53 million aged 12 years and older used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs in the previous year
  • 139.8 million people drank alcohol in 2018

The center also indicates that 20.3 million people in the U.S. age 12 or older had a substance use disorder, also called addiction. The American Medical Association says that only 10 percent of the 20.3 million receive substance use disorder treatment.

If we were to ask why people struggling with addiction do not receive treatment, we could surmise that they think they could not afford it. However, drug or alcohol rehab is possible when we look at the different options to pay for it.

Factors Affecting Rehab Costs

Several factors determine the costs involved in alcohol or drug rehab. These are:

  • Type of treatment needed
  • Length of the treatment program
  • Amenities offered by the facility
  • Location of the facility

When researching addiction treatment, one should consider all of the above before determining how much rehab will cost in its entirety. The price that addiction treatment programs charge for the exact same services can differ greatly from one facility to the next, depending on the factors mentioned above. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that, “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.” 

how-much-does-rehab-cost

How to Pay for Rehab

There are several different options in which one can use to pay for rehab.  A combination of payment options is also a possibility, too.

Insurance

The cost of drug or alcohol rehab is one of the biggest concerns for many clients and their families. Rehab can be expensive with many factors involved. Some clients will have health insurance, which may cover some or all of the costs involved in rehab. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), substance use treatment is covered by most insurance plans.

There is verbiage describing what is covered “in-network” and “out-of-network.”  “In-network” means the doctor or treatment facility is an approved provider. The rates for the doctor or facility are negotiated with the insurance company. This is what can be charged to your insurance plan. Quality assurances are made for treatment facilities.

“Out-of-network” means that the doctor or rehab facility has not been approved by the health insurance company. The rates are not negotiated, and there are no quality assurances made.

TRICARE – TRICARE is the health care program for military service members, retirees, and their families around the world. TRICARE provides comprehensive coverage to all beneficiaries. It provides health plans, special programs, and prescriptions and covers substance use disorder treatment.

Medicare – Medicare is a federal- and state-funded program providing insurance to people over age 65 and under 65 who have a severe disability. Medicare Part A covers inpatient treatment, and Part B covers doctors’ services while undergoing inpatient care.

Medicaid – Medicaid is health coverage for eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities. It is administered by the states according to federal guidelines. If you have Medicaid, call to see if substance use treatment is covered.

Financing

Some people might not have access to the full amount of money they need for treatment at the exact time it is needed. However, various financing options are available. Patients and their families may consider combining different methods to pay for treatment.

Credit cards – Regular credit cards can be used to pay for rehab as long as there is enough credit on the card to cover the costs. It is also imperative to note that credit cards come with high-interest rates, and some have monthly fees, which can also be high. A search for “medical credit cards for drug rehab” resulted in not finding any that covered substance use treatment, despite the few medical credit cards available.

Loans – Loans are a possibility but often come with interest on the loan, all of which must be paid back. Some types of loans have lower interest rates than others. The Federal Reserve interest rate on a 24- month personal loan is 9.65% as of the end of year 2020. Unsecured loans are loans a person can get based on their credit score and credit history. If an individual has a good credit score and a steady credit history, they might be able to qualify for an unsecured loan. Secured loans require some type of collateral in order to be qualified.

Home equity loan – If you own a home, you might be able to get a home equity loan for the total cost of drug or alcohol rehab. Keep in mind, though, that your home becomes the collateral for the loan. Equity is available if your home’s value is higher than what is owed on your home loan.

Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is an option to pay for rehab. However, you will be letting the world know that you need to go to rehab. If this is still an option you want to try, this is how it works: you set up a campaign on a crowdfunding website, explain your cause and why you need help with funding. You set a goal for how much you will need and share any updates and progress. You can add videos or photos to explain your cause. Different crowdfunding sites have different rules about withdrawing funds from the campaign.

Private Pay – Private pay might be a financial option for people who have the funds to pay the treatment center upfront. Family and friends can also pay the treatment center directly.

As mentioned previously, it might take a few different financial options to pay for rehab.  Also, most reputable addiction treatment centers have financial specialists available to help people find a way to afford treatment.

The Cost of Not Going into Rehab

You may be thinking that going into rehab is expensive and not affordable. In contrast, it is more costly not to get addiction treatment.  Here is what it will cost you to not get the help you need:

  • Your spouse, significant other, family, and friends
  • Your job, respectability
  • Your financial resources, like money in checking and savings accounts, retirement plans, and investments that pay back
  • Your overall physical and mental health
  • Your freedom
  • Your life

Rehab might seem like it is not financially feasible. Nonetheless, the aforementioned options to pay for addiction treatment are available if you are willing to find a way to pay for drug or alcohol rehab. The choice is yours.

Sources

National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. Drug Abuse Statistics. from https://drugabusestatistics.org/

American Medical Association. (2019, October 22) 90% who need substance-use disorder treatment don’t get it. O'Reilly, K. from https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/90-who-need-substance-use-disorder-treatment-don-t-get-it

NIDA. (2020, September 18). Principles of Effective Treatment. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment

Healthcare.gov. Health benefits & substance abuse coverage. from https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/mental-health-substance-abuse-coverage/

Tricare. Substance Use Disorder Treatment. from https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/SubstanceUseDisorderTreatment

Medicare. Inpatient rehabilitation care. from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/inpatient-rehabilitation-care

Medicaid. Substance Use Disorders. from https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/behavioral-health-services/substance-use-disorders/index.html

Federal Reserve.(2021, February 5) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Consumer Credit – G.19. Personal loans. 24-month. from https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/

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