How to Pay for Detox and Rehab
When you or a loved one needs to enter detox and rehab, you may have many questions. Chief among these questions may be how to pay for rehab. If you have health insurance, you are probably wondering how insurance can help with rehab costs? If you do not have health insurance, you may want to know about other options for paying for rehab.
The costs for rehab and detox vary, depending on the type of treatment program you are seeking and the length of stay required. There are publicly funded programs, programs that offer sliding scales for people who pay out-of-pocket, and private treatment programs that offer scholarships. Most programs take at least some type of insurance, and many offer different types of payment options.
Paying for Treatment with Private Insurance
For many, private insurance is the most readily available of the rehab payment options. Many treatment programs accept insurance and most insurance plans cover a large percentage of the cost of treatment. Some of the most popular private insurance carriers include:
For those who have private insurance available to them, this is often the most desired way to attend treatment because facilities that accept private insurance policies often boast greater amenities, higher staff-to-patient ratios, and aren’t required to follow governmental restrictions. For instance, private treatment centers can often admit you immediately and there are no limits to how many times you may receive treatment.Whereas state or federally funded programs may place you on a waitlist or no allow you re-admittance if you relapse.
Medicaid and Medicare
Most rehab programs operated through local, state, or federal government agencies accept Medicaid and Medicare. If you do not have private insurance, you may be covered or eligible for coverage under Medicare or Medicaid. Medicare is a federally funded public insurance program primarily for people over the age of 65 and those who have certain disabilities or meet other requirements.2 With Medicare, you often have a 20% co-pay that covers a small part of the overall cost of treatment.
Those with Medicaid usually do not have any out-of-pocket costs. This government-funded health insurance program covers adults, children, and pregnant women who meet certain criteria based on income limits.
Medicare is generally accepted at more facilities than Medicaid. However, some treatment facilities in the private sector do not accept Medicaid and will take only private insurance.
State and Locally Funded Programs
Many states, and certain communities, have state- and locally funded programs that offer lower-cost substance abuse treatment. Some of these programs may ask for a relatively low co-pay for services. There may be a long waiting list and you may only be able to get treatment at some of these if you meet certain criteria, including income limits. Hence, payment options for these facilities may be limited. Some specialized programs may serve only people recently released from jail, for example, on only pregnant women. A private treatment center may be preferable, despite being more costly, due to restrictions on who can receive services and long waiting lists.
Self or Cash Pay
If you do not have private insurance and do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, there are other detox and rehab payment options available. Drug rehab for uninsured people is available. People can arrange for:
- Financing through various means, including putting the cost of treatment on credit cards or borrowing from friends and family.
- Loans, which may be available through your bank or a private lender.
- Payment plans that ask for a deposit up front and let you make installment payments. It never hurts to ask your insurance company if they have a payment plan or sliding-scale fee based on income.
- With websites such as Go Fund Me, you can ask your friends, family, and the public for their help paying for rehab. Some people are surprisingly willing to help. Friends and relatives can help advertise crowdfunding on social media, opening up donations from people you don’t even know.
The Affordable Healthcare Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was passed by Congress in 2010, provided expanded Medicaid coverage in many states and opened up Medicaid funding to more people of different income levels. In addition, ACA provided subsidies that paid all or part of healthcare insurance premiums for people who meet certain income requirements. This enabled more people to obtain private insurance.4
The ACA mandates that insurance plans provide coverage for substance abuse treatment and that prior substance abuse diagnoses cannot prevent you from getting healthcare coverage. Substance abuse cannot be labeled a pre-existing condition and companies cannot refuse to pay for substance abuse treatment. Plans must cover your substance abuse treatment from the day your health insurance coverage begins with no waiting periods.5 This is important information to know if you are currently uninsured.
If you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you should look into purchasing a healthcare plan through the Healthcare Marketplace. If you qualify for coverage, you can use your plan immediately to pay for detox and other forms of addiction treatment.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States. Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Medicare.gov. What’s Medicare?
- Healthcare.gov. Medicaid and CHIP coverage.
- Healthcare.gov. Affordable care act.
- Healthcare.gov. Mental health and substance abuse coverage.