How to Pay for Drug Rehab

Deciding to attend rehab is the crucial first step in the recovery process. Once you make that decision, you have to figure out how to pay for it.

According to the United States National Institutes of Health, roughly one in 10 people suffering from substance use disorder get the help they need. A major reason is the perceived notion that rehab is not affordable.

Drug rehab might be more affordable than you think. You can pay for drug rehab in several ways, including using health insurance, paying on your own, or utilizing grants and government assistance programs.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of addiction treatment can vary significantly based on a variety of factors, including

  • The level of care needed
  • The type of treatment facility
  • The treatment program you enter (inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization)
  • The length of time you spend in treatment
  • The amenities the facility offers
  • The type of treatment services needed (co-occurring disorders, dual diagnosis, etc.)

Typically, inpatient treatment (residential treatment) costs more than outpatient and partial hospitalization because you are living at the facility, which comes with additional expenses.

Below is the average cost of rehab based on the type of treatment program according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • 30-day detox: $250 – $800 per day
  • 3-month outpatient treatment program: $1,400 – $10,000
  • 30-day intensive outpatient program: $3,000 – $10,000
  • Inpatient treatment: $5,000 – $80,000

Paying for Drug Rehab With Insurance

If you have medical insurance through a major healthcare provider, there’s a good chance that it will cover at least a portion of your substance abuse treatment. In some instances, based on your treatment plan, you might be covered in full.

It’s important to know what is (and isn’t) covered with your insurance plan before you begin treatment so you can find a treatment facility that fits your needs and accepts your insurance.

Many treatment facilities offer free insurance verification on their websites. This verification process allows the facility to review your policy and determine your level of coverage before starting treatment.

It is also essential to see if a facility is in-network or out-of-network before starting treatment. Many private insurance providers require you to go to an in-network facility to get your treatment covered.

Even if you can use your insurance at an out-of-network facility, you will likely be responsible for paying a higher rate out-of-pocket.

Paying for Rehab with the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) prevents insurance companies from denying access to coverage based on preexisting conditions, including mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Insurance companies must offer medical care for substance abuse and mental health treatment at the same level as other medical conditions.

The Affordable Care Act offers a variety of insurance policies with policies covering anywhere from 60% to 90% of addiction treatment:

  • Bronze plans: 60%
  • Silver plans: 70%
  • Gold plans: 80%
  • Platinum plans: 90%

Medicare and Medicaid

State-funded health benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid often cover the cost of substance abuse treatment for those who qualify. With Medicare or Medicaid, the cost of treatment might be covered in full or significantly reduced.

To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be under the age of 19
  • Be over the age of 65
  • Be pregnant or a parent
  • Be within a specific income range

Those with Medicare must be either over the age of 65 or disabled.

Paying for Drug Rehab Without Insurance

Out-of-pocket expenses can occur for many reasons, such as:

  • Not having medical insurance
  • Not wanting to use your insurance to cover the cost of rehab
  • Insurance not covering 100% of the cost of treatment (i.e., co-pays, deductibles, etc.)

Regardless of the reason, there are many options available when it comes to paying for rehab out-of-pocket.

Private Funding and Financing

For those that can afford it, the easiest way to pay for rehab if insurance isn’t an option is to pay the balance in full before beginning treatment. If paying upfront isn’t an option, many treatment centers offer accommodations, including financing options, payment plans, and scholarships.

Another option is taking out a low-interest rate private loan to cover the cost of treatment or paying using a credit card that also offers low-interest or no-interest payment options.

Fundraising

Another option when it comes to finding ways to pay for treatment is to seek out the help of others. Friends, family members, or loved ones might be willing to help out financially to support their loved ones in getting the help they need.

Should financial support from loved ones not be available, another option is to try and crowdsource funds through online crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.

Grants and Government Programs

Many states offer state or federally-funded addiction rehab centers to help those in need of treatment but can’t afford the cost. These programs often have specific requirements to be eligible to participate.

For a list of federal or state-funded treatment providers, click here.

Those needing financial assistance can also apply for grants to help pay for addiction treatment. An example is the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) offered by SAMHSA.

The SABG is designed explicitly for the following:

  • Intravenous drug users
  • Pregnant women or women with dependent children
  • Early intervention services for HIV/AIDS
  • Tuberculosis services
  • Primary prevention services

Non-Profit Facilities

In addition to government-run facilities, treatment facilities in many states are non-profit and offer low-cost addiction treatment programs. Many of these facilities are “faith-based” and may come with specific requirements that patients must meet to qualify for their program.

Paying for Drug Rehab

While making sure you can afford to go to rehab is important, so is finding a facility that best meets your needs.

Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator to find addiction treatment options in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paying for Drug Rehab

How much does rehab cost?

The cost of rehab can vary from $250 a day to upwards of $80,000. The cost also depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The level of care needed
  • The type of treatment facility
  • The amenities the facility offers
  • The length of time you spend in treatment
  • The treatment program you enter

How do I pay for rehab?

Two main ways to pay for rehab are medical insurance and self-pay (paying out-of-pocket). Even if you are using insurance, you may still incur out-of-pocket expenses based on your insurance plan and how much of your treatment the insurance plan will cover.

How long does rehab last?

A standard drug rehab program lasts 30 days. However, factors like underlying mental health conditions and the severity of the addiction may indicate a need for a 60 or 90-day treatment program.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction GuideWritten by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

7 references
  1. Lesser, B. (2022, December 18). How Long Should Rehab Stay be? Dualdiagnosis.org. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://dualdiagnosis.org/addiction-treatment/how-long-you-stay/

  2. French, M. T., Popovici, I., & Tapsell, L. (2008, December). The economic costs of Substance Abuse treatment: Updated estimates and cost bands for program assessment and reimbursement. Journal of substance abuse treatment. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2614666/

  3. 2011 employee benefits guide. Flexible Spending Account. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://web.archive.org/web/20160428060141/http://www.oldrepublictitle.com/hrbenefits/or/FSA.html

  4. Substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant. SAMHSA. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/block-grants/sabg

  5. Giorgi, A. (2021, August 11). How much does alcohol rehab usually cost? WebMD. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/alcohol/how-much-does-alcohol-rehab-really-cost

  6. How much does rehab cost? Help.org. (2022, November 11). Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.help.org/rehab-cost/

  7. Directory of single state agencies (SSA) for substance abuse … – SAMHSA. (2019, August 23). Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/single-state-agencies-directory-08232019.pdf

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