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Alcohol Rehab Costs & Insurance Coverage

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Alcohol rehab is a treatment program designed to help someone recover from alcohol addiction. People who are seeking rehab may want to know the cost of treatment.

The cost of an alcohol rehab program varies widely. Some treatment options are free, such as programs from non-profit health centers or 12-step programs like AA and NA. However, more expensive options, like luxury centers, can cost up to $80,000 a month.

Most standard alcohol treatment centers fall in the middle, at around $2,000 to $25,000 a month. 

4 Factors that Affect Alcohol Rehab Costs 

Various factors affect alcohol rehab costs. The cost typically varies depending on the following:

1. Type of Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol rehab can be outpatient or inpatient. In general, inpatient treatment is more expensive. 

Inpatient treatment uses up more resources. This includes facility time, lodging, and meals in a structured environment. On the other hand, outpatient treatment is cheaper because you don’t have to be in the facility 24/7.

Here are the common types of alcohol rehab and their average costs:

Type of Alcohol RehabAverage Cost Range
Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox$250 to $800 per day for 30 days
Outpatient Alcohol Rehab$1,400 to $10,000 for 3 months
Partial Hospitalization Programs$350 to $450 per day
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab$5,000 to $80,000, depending on the length of stay

2. Location

Rehab centers in states with a higher cost of living, such as California or New York, are more expensive. 

Going to rehab in the city is generally cheaper than locations with a view. For instance, rehab centers with an ocean view or in a secluded location will cost more.

3. Length of stay

Unless there’s a court order, you decide how long you want to stay in rehab. Longer programs are more expensive than shorter programs since the former is more intensive.

You will be evaluated before you enter rehab. Your suggested length of stay will depend on different factors, such as severity of use, physical and mental health, and readiness to change.  

4. Included services and amenities

Different rehab centers have different services and amenities. You can expect luxury centers to be more expensive than small-town center options.

Common services and amenities found in luxury centers are private rooms, swimming pools, and massage therapists. Other luxury centers allow clients to bring their children and pets.

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Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?

Yes, in most cases, insurance covers rehab, as it involves treating a medical disease. 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)  requires all small group and individual insurance plans to cover 10 health benefit categories. These categories include mental health and substance abuse disorder services.7

The ACA also requires insurers that offer these services to provide coverage comparable to general medical and surgical care coverage.

As a result, health insurance now often covers inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and other services to treat substance use disorders (SUDs). 

However, policies and plans differ on the level of coverage they provide for rehab. Navigating the exclusions, coverage, and whether the treatment program accepts payment via insurance can be challenging.

Many rehab centers employ insurance specialists to help people understand their policies. Additionally, people seeking alcoholism treatment can contact their insurance provider directly to discuss coverage specifics.

Other Ways to Pay for Alcohol Rehab

Free and low-cost payment options for alcohol rehab are available for those who don’t have insurance. Some examples include:

Private funding and financing

Because rehab can be expensive, you may need to secure private financing for treatment if you’re uninsured and don’t qualify for federal or state assistance.

Some treatment centers offer scholarships. Speak to the admissions office about financing before you decide on a facility.

Alternatively, the treatment center may offer financing plans so you can make payments once you leave. Sometimes, this arrangement is provided through a third-party lender that can create a loan package.

If you have an IRA, savings, or a 401(k) plan, you may need to take out money to cover treatment costs.

If your home has equity, you may access it through a home equity loan to use toward rehab.

Fundraising or crowdfunding

Family and friends may be able to help you pay for treatment, too. You can ask them to make payments directly to the treatment center. This way,  there’s no question about how the money is used.

Friends and family may also be able to help raise money for your rehab using crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.

State and local government programs 

Federally funded, state-run alcohol treatment programs can help some people. Depending on the state, these programs may be included under a behavioral health department or separate agency. 

State and local government programs can offer outpatient and inpatient treatment and aftercare support services. 

These public programs have specific requirements for people to qualify for assistance, such as:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of residence in the program’s state
  • The degree and history of the person’s addiction
  • A demonstrated inability to afford other treatment options based on income and other factors

There’s usually a waiting list to get into these programs. However, most offer some support while you wait for an opening.

SAMHSA Grants

A source of federal funding for state addiction treatment programs is one of the block grants delivered through SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). 

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) provides alcohol prevention and drug treatment programs for specific population groups.

Examples of people who qualify for this type of treatment are pregnant and postpartum women and intravenous drug users.

Non-profit treatment centers

Non-profit addiction treatment programs are also available at little or no cost. For example, The Salvation Army has a program that requires no fees. However, people must be willing to work a 40-hour week to cover the cost of their room and board.

Participants work in the warehouses sorting donated items or assisting with admin duties in exchange for a free 6-month treatment program.

Teen Challenge is a non-profit that provides addiction treatment for teens and adults at a low cost. The facility’s fees differ by location. Check your local program to find out the cost of rehab through Teen Challenge.

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The Cost of Addiction vs. Rehab

Investing in rehab can be daunting, but it’s better than the long-term cost of addiction. Addiction can affect you physically, mentally, and financially. Here are some of the benefits of investing in rehab:

It’s a cost-effective option 

Addiction is expensive. Drinking alcohol consistently can be costly. For example, an alcoholic who drinks daily could easily spend at least $3,000 a year on alcohol alone. A 10-year addiction could cost around $30,000 (just for the cost of the alcohol).

Going to rehab will help you overcome alcohol addiction. This means you’ll spend less money on alcohol in the long run. It also means saving money on alcohol-related health problems and other costs.

It improves your mental and physical health

Alcohol addiction interferes with day-to-day life. You can't perform at work or school because you're constantly feeling sick and hungover. If you want a better quality of life, it's time to get sober.

Alcohol addiction also often comes with workplace problems. It makes it hard to be productive, making job advancement unlikely and losing your job more likely. 

Alcohol is also terrible for the body and can cause many health problems like liver disease, cancer, mental health issues, and memory disorders. Treating these alcohol-related health problems is more expensive than going to rehab.

The effects of alcoholism also negatively impact those around you. Friends and family members may become angry or upset when they see you drinking. They may also have a harder time trusting you if you continue to drink.

It offers a safe and effective environment for recovery

Alcohol rehab offers customized and holistic care. You’re medically supervised and evaluated before starting treatment. Rehab centers also provide ongoing support even if you’ve left the facility.

Trying to recover from alcoholism alone is not enough. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, it's important that you receive professional help. This will ensure your success in overcoming this disease.

Although the upfront costs of alcohol rehab are high, it’s worth every penny. Going to rehab is an investment that will help you avoid years of addiction-related health problems.

Insurance Can Help Pay for Addiction Treatment

Call now to speak with a specialist about your insurance benefits.

Conclusion

Alcohol is an effective way to treat alcohol addiction. However, different factors affect alcohol rehab costs. You can pay for alcohol rehab through insurance or other free, low-cost options.

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Updated on September 16, 2022
7 sources cited
  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2016 data: alcohol-impaired driving. U.S. Department of Transportation, 2017.
  2. Weisner, C, et al. “The outcome and cost of alcohol and drug treatment in an HMO: day hospital versus traditional outpatient regimens.” Health services research, 2000.
  3. Breithaupt, D. “Why health insurers should pay for addiction treatment. Treatment works and would lead to net societal benefits.” The Western journal of medicine, 2001.
  4. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Identify Research Opportunities in the Prevention and Treatment of Alcohol-Related Problems. Prevention and Treatment of Alcohol Problems: Research Opportunities. Treatment Costs, Benefits, and Cost Offsets: Public Policy Considerations, 1990.
  5. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Treatment of Alcohol Problems. Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems. 8 Who Pays for Treatment?, 1990. 
  6. Abraham, Amanda J, et al. “The Affordable Care Act Transformation of Substance Use Disorder Treatment.” American journal of public health, 2017.
  7. Affordable Care Act Expands Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits and Federal Parity Protections for 62 Million Americans, Office of the Assistant Secretary For Planning and Evaluation, 2013.

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