The cost of drug or alcohol addiction treatment can be overwhelming for many people. Many people cover the cost of rehab with private health insurance, public health insurance, scholarships and grants, or with payment plans they set up with their treatment provider. While all of these options provide people with access to addiction rehab, the tremendous cost of treatment and the limited availability of state-funded and free rehab opportunities make private insurance the most often used payment method.
In 2019, 20.4 million Americans had a substance use disorder (SUD), but only 4.2 million people were treated, and 2.6 million people were treated in rehab facilities.1 One of the most prominent reasons people don’t pursue or obtain treatment is the prohibitive.1 About 20% of Americans weren’t unable to access addiction treatment in 2019 because they couldn’t afford it or didn’t have insurance coverage.1
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
When it comes to addiction treatment, one of the major questions people have is: How much does it cost? The cost of care can vary greatly depending on the level of care that is needed, the type of treatment, the facility, the length of stay, the abused substance, and the amenities offered. Providing a high level of care, inpatient rehab is usually more expensive than outpatient rehab, but both provide treatment that helps patients address their addiction and work toward their sobriety.
The average cost of inpatient treatment may include the following:2
- Detox only (7 day minimum): $600-$1,000 per day.
- 30-day: $400-$900 per day.
- 60-day: $300-$800 per day.
- 90-day: $200-$700 per day.
The average cost of outpatient treatment may include the following:2
- Intensive outpatient (IOP): $100-$500 per session.
- IOP with housing: $3,500-$5,000 per week (housing is not typically offered)
(additional $400-$900 per month beyond the price of the program).
How Do I Pay for Alcohol or Drug Rehab?
As stated previously, there are various ways to pay for rehab. Those options include state-funded and free rehab facilities, payment plans, financing, scholarships and/or grants, and insurance. Ultimately, though, most people end up using insurance or private pay to pay for addiction treatment.
The Affordable Care Act
Does insurance cover drug and alcohol rehab? With a few exceptions, insurance companies are required to cover some or all of the costs of addiction treatment.3
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes SUDs as one of the 10 elements of essential health benefits.4 Therefore, all health insurance that is sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or available through Medicaid has to include services for SUDs.4 While not all of the treatment might be covered, the ACA ensures that mental health and substance abuse treatment are provided at a level equivalent to medical and surgical procedures.5
There are several major healthcare companies in the United States that provide coverage. Four of the main companies that provide insurance are Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Humana, and Kaiser Permanente. Level of care and coverage varies depending on the individual’s policy.
So how do you get your treatment covered by insurance? The best way to find out what your insurance covers is to call or visit their website. Or, you can click here, or fill out the form below.
How Do I Pay for Rehab Without Insurance
For those who do not have insurance, there are other options that can help them pay for addiction treatment. There are some rehab facilities that offer sliding-scale payment options, in which the price of treatment depends on the individual’s income and their ability to pay. This option typically applies to low-income patients, but there is a possibility of financial aid for rehab.
Medicare and Medicaid
How can you use Medicare or Medicaid to pay for rehab? Both may provide options for accessing addiction rehab.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program. In order to qualify, you must meet one of the following criteria:6
- 65 or older.
- Younger and disabled.
Medicaid is a program that is funded by states and the federal government. It provides low-cost or free healthcare to many low income people, regardless of age, and is based on income and family size.7 Depending on your state of residence, coverage and eligibility varies. Those with Medicaid often pay nothing for medical costs, though a small copayment might be required.7
Medicaid and Medicare may provide insurance assistance or support with drug or alcohol addiction treatment and rehab.
For those who do not have insurance, it can be challenging to find drug or alcohol addiction rehab, but there are options out there—if you know where to look. Make sure to check with your local rehab programs to see if they have any financing or payment plans available.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a treatment locator that can help you find local treatment facilities that may offer alternative payment options.
- Free Rehab Guide
- Using Insurance to Help Cover Addiction Recovery Costs
- How Much Does Rehab Cost?
- State-Funded Rehab Guide
- Does Kaiser Permanente Insurance Cover for Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
- Does Aetna Insurance Cover Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
- Does Humana Health Insurance Cover Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
- Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). National survey of substance abuse treatment services (N-SSATS): 2019. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- American Addiction Centers. (2017).
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2020). What is mental health parity?
- Office of National Drug Control Policy. (n.d.). Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act.
- Abraham, A.J., Andrews, C.M., Grogan, C.M., D’Aunno, T., Humphreys, K.N., Pollack, H.A., Friedmann, P.D. (2017). The Affordable Care Act Transformation of Substance Use Disorder Treatment. Am J Public Health, 107(1): 31-32.
- Medicare.gov. (n.d.). What’s Medicare?
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2017). Who is eligible for Medicaid?
You are never too old to improve your health and quality of life!