Paying For Alcohol Rehab – Medicaid, Private Insurance, And More

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The cost of alcohol rehab can be intimidating, and paying it off might seem impossible for someone who suffers from an alcohol addiction. There are a handful of options that can make paying for alcohol rehab possible.

Cost Of Attending An Alcohol Rehabilitation Program

Alcohol rehab costs anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 for a short-term residential program, and the cost of long-term treatment (60, 90, 120 day) may be triple that figure. There are many factors that contribute to the cost of treatment, but the final result of sustained recovery is often well worth the price. The cost of alcohol treatment may be affected by:

  • medical detox
  • medications
  • location of rehab center
  • length of treatment
  • type of treatment
  • type of rehab center (state-funded, basic, or luxury)

An individual suffering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD) such as alcoholism may spend a small fortune on feeding their addiction. Research indicates that the national average for the cost of one alcoholic drink is $2.05. This means that a person could easily spend up to $1,000 per month supporting their drinking habit. In five years, at the cost of 6 drinks per day, a person could exceed $20,000.

There is no doubt that alcohol abuse drains finances, but it also hurts the United States’ economy, mostly due to losses in workplace productivity. The risk of alcoholism isn’t simply based on monetary loss though, and excessive alcohol takes the lives of approximately 88,000 people each year.

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Mental Health Parity And Addiction Equity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), requires health insurers and group health plans to provide the same level of care for substance use disorders, and mental illness as they would for medical or surgical care.

Federal MHPAEA also applies to large employer-funded plans (more than 51 insured employees), small employer-funded plans (fewer than 50 employees insured), individual market plans, Medicaid managed-care programs, and Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans.

Private Health Insurance Plan

Most insurance companies cover at least a portion of alcohol treatment, and some may even cover the full cost. There are four major health insurance companies that cover millions of people across the nation, these include: Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, and United Healthcare. Depending on the insurance plan a person chooses, they may have up to 60 or 90 percent of their rehab costs covered.

Bronze Plan
60 percent of rehab costs covered

Silver Plan
70 percent of rehab costs covered

Gold Plan
80 percent of rehab costs covered

Platinum Plan
90 percent of rehab costs covered

60 percent of rehab costs covered*

*Only available to people under 30 years old, or people with other applicable circumstances. Paying For Alcohol Rehab Rehab Costs Covered By Isurance

Most alcohol rehab centers can find out what kind of insurance coverage a client has, and help them figure out details like how many days of treatment is covered, or if medication is covered.

Medicare And Medicaid

State and federal health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are some of the most commonly used payment methods for alcohol rehab. Medicare and Medicaid were started to help a specific population including elderly, and low-income families receive healthcare.

Medicare is federally funded health insurance for people 65 or older with certain disabilities, or any age with End-Stage Renal disease. Medicaid is a state administered health insurance for low-income families, who fit into a certain eligibility group according to federal and state law.

Those who qualify for Medicare or Medicaid receive similar benefits as those with private health insurance. Medicare and Medicaid may cover part of, or the full cost of alcohol rehab.

To qualify for Medicare, an individual must be:

  • over 65 years old
  • disabled

To qualify for Medicaid, an individual must be:

  • under 19 years old
  • over 65 years old
  • pregnant or a parent
  • in a low-income bracket

Veteran’s Affairs Health Care Program

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program provides medical, social, vocational, and rehabilitation to qualifying drug and alcohol dependent U.S. Veterans. VA Health Care Program is not considered a health insurance plan, but it can help provide needed care for Veterans.

Tricare is a health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System. Tricare is often considered the gold standard for healthcare, and may cover the bulk cost of alcohol treatment.

Scholarships And Grants Paying For Alcohol Rehab Makes Grants AvilableThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) makes grants available to help fund alcohol treatment. Scholarships and grants help those who need to go to rehab for alcohol, but don’t have health insurance. Government grants are made available through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Mental Health Services.

State-Funded And Non-Profit Rehab Centers

State-funded rehab centers use money distributed by the state to provide services to people in recovery from addiction. State-funded rehab centers benefit people suffering from addiction who are unable to pay for rehab, or have no health insurance. A state-funded rehab center may be a reasonable way to overcome alcohol abuse, or addiction, but may have a waiting list to get into.

No matter what a person’s circumstances, there is a treatment available. State-funded rehab center may provide medical detox, short-term residential, long-term residential, or outpatient counselling treatments.

There are also non-profit rehab centers across the United States that offer affordable treatment options for those struggling with alcohol. Most states provide some form of inpatient or outpatient care that is completely tax-supported, and charge free.

Private Funding And Financing

It isn’t always easy scraping together all resources to pay for rehab, but sometimes that’s exactly what needs to happen. Those with a retirement fund, nest egg, or saving account may need to use some of that money towards alcohol rehab. When it comes down to brass tax, privately funding a rehab treatment is an investment in the future.

It may help to ask friends and family to help pay for rehab. Some people even set up a fundraiser, and get help from their community, employers, friends, and family members. There are some rehab centers that accept fundraiser donations directly, this helps the people donating money trust that it’s going to a good cause.

Certain alcohol rehab centers finance alcohol treatment upfront, or grant a sliding-fee; both options allow an individual to pay for alcohol treatment over time.

Contact to learn about payment options that apply to you.

For More Information Related to “Paying For Alcohol Rehab” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


Sources—Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program
Center For Disease Control and Prevention—Excessive Drinking is Draining The U.S. Economy

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